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Workplace Flexibility Is a Top Priority for Job Seekers

July 20, 2017 — When two-thirds of job candidates don't think they need to sit at a desk to get their work done, it's clear that workplace flexibility is a top priority for job seekers.

Nearly 40% of global candidates responding to a survey from ManpowerGroup Solutions reported that schedule flexibility is one of the top three factors they consider when making career decisions. The report, "Work for Me: Understanding Candidate Preferences for Flexibility," reflects responses from nearly 14,000 individuals in 19 countries. Respondents addressed what matters to them in the job-search process.

When it comes to workplace flexibility:

  • Flexible arrival and departure times and full-time work from home/location independence generally are the most desired types of flexible workplace policies. 26% of global candidates said flexible arrival and departure times are most important, followed closely by the ability to work from home or any other place they choose (22%).
  • The rise in the importance of schedule flexibility is driven by a wide range of local factors, including presence of multinational companies or unions in the location; influence of technology firms in the marketplace; workforce composition (e.g., proportion of Millennials); and congestion, infrastructure or public transportation that can affect commuting times.

"Workplace flexibility doesn't just mean working remotely. It includes all types of working arrangements from when to take breaks, working from home or caregiving leave," said Kate Donovan, senior vice president of ManpowerGroup Solutions and global RPO president. "While no employer can accommodate every option, they can provide a range that appeals to a varity of candidates. It's clear that candidates across the globe seek a way to achieve 'one life,' which means integrating work and home life. Organizations need to be ready to drop old work models that emphasize presenteeism over performance. It's time to shift the needle: Employers who meet candidate expectations around schedule flexibility have the advantage in recruiting and retaining the best talent."

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