The battle to attract and retain top talent is never fiercer than at the beginning of a new year and according to the latest research by Regus, employers looking to avoid costly staff turnover should put flexible working at the top of their HR agenda for 2014.
Regus canvassed the opinions of over 2600 business owners and senior executives in the UK and found that over three quarters (76 per cent) believe flexible working improves staff retention and seven in ten (71 per cent) consider flexibility a key measure in attracting new talent.
Three quarters of those polled also claim that they would pick one job over another if it offered greater flexibility and a choice of work style.
It was not so long ago that flexible working was the province of sales people and senior managers who lived a long way from the company headquarters,” says John Spencer, UK CEO at Regus.
“But over the last couple of years, as the wide-ranging health and productivity benefits have become apparent, flexibility has become an essential part of any attractive job, particularly for younger workers.”
Flexible working is usually understood to include multi-location working, where staff can work from home or from local “third places” for some or all of the week, as well as flexi-hours or part-time work. These measures are recognised as promoting a more balanced life: staff typically feel healthier, more energised and motivated , which accounts for the emergence of flexible working as a powerful HR tool.
Aside from the wellbeing benefits, previous research has shown that three quarters (74 per cent) of office workers believe flexible working makes them more productive.
Spencer adds: “The message from our research is clear – companies that fail to recognise the role of flexible working in todays workplace risk losing key staff and being unable to attract top talent.”