Flexible working is among the softer benefits that employers can engage in order to attract top talent to their companies, new research has shown.
Staff appreciate the opportunity to work from home or a third place, as well as during hours which suit them, more than traditional financial incentives.
This is according to a study carried out by Vodafone UK, which found that 75 per cent of respondents reported increased job satisfaction when flexible working was offered.
Work-life balance is becoming a bigger issue for staff as developments in technology allow them to juggle busy lives with work and fit tasks around demands from other aspects of their lives.
Since the study also found that only one in five people are considering changing their jobs in the coming year, flexible working could be an incentive which would change that view.
Peter Kelly, enterprise director at Vodafone UK, said: “Flexible working has gone from being a nice-to-have perk to now being at the heart of employees’ expectations. British business clearly understands that motivation and job satisfaction are more than about money – work-life balance and feeling supported at work are also vitally important. ”
Eight out of ten bosses interviewed said that it has become harder than ever to hire the best people for the job and then increasingly challenging to keep hold of them.
It appears that companies have stepped up to the plate in terms of flexible working and three-fifths of firms now offer it to employees.
Interestingly the option to engage in flexible working practices is more common in larger firms with 63 per cent of them encouraging staff to do so.
For smaller businesses the resources needed to allow flexible working may not be as readily available and consequently 46 per cent have employees engaging in the practice.