|Credit: Work flexibility image via Shutterstock|
Companies looking to attract top talent should be offering a flexible work environment, new research shows.
A study by national talent acquisition and career development firm Mom Corps revealed that nearly three-quarters of the American adults surveyed said flexibility is one of the most important factors they consider when looking for a new jobor deciding what company to work for — up more than 10 percentage points from last year.
In addition, 39 percent of those surveyed have considered leaving, or have left, a job because it wasn't flexible enough.
"The main takeaway from this year's survey is that flexible work trends are gaining attention and momentum," said Mom Corps founder and CEO Allison O'Kelly. "We see more employees asking for the work situations they need and more companies offering flexibility as a talent management strategy."
In addition, Americans are willing to give up a lot for a little workplace flexibility. Close to half of the U.S. adults surveyed would be willing to take a cut on their salary in exchange for more flexibility at work.
Despite their desire for flexibility, many workers still are hesitant to ask for flexible work options: The study found that nearly 50 percent of employees think that asking for more flexibility would hurt their chances of job advancement.
"While the workforce as a whole is seeing an increase in available flexible work options, there is still a considerable disconnect between what is being offered and what employees feel empowered to take advantage of," O'Kelly said. "Worse, employees still feel susceptible to diminished career opportunities if they ask for alternatives."
The study found that it's the younger employees that are leading the charge for a nontraditional work schedule: Nearly 85 percent of those age 35 and under already have a little flexibility in their current job, compared with just 67 percent of those age 55 and over.
Additionally, nearly 60 percent of working adults age 35 and under would consider alternative work options — like temping, contracting, part-time or consulting — in lieu of a traditional full-time job in order to better achieve work-life balance. This percentage is more than 10 percentage points higher than for any other age group.
The study was based on surveys of more than 2,000 U.S. adults, nearly 900 of whom were employed on either a full-time or part-time basis.
Originally on BusinessNewsDaily.