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What do employees want: a higher salary or more job flexibility?

19 Sep 2019

New research from Employflex has shown that nine out of 10 people would leave their job for another that offers more flexibility.

Future of Work Week

Earlier this month, Employflex surveyed more than 670 people across Ireland about work flexibility.

Its findings are pertinent given that the future of work is one of today’s hottest topics, with two-thirds of people surveyed citing flexibility as the most important thing for them when looking for a new job.

With just 8pc looking for a higher salary and 13pc seeking a convenient location, it’s clear that employee priorities are changing, demonstrated further by the fact that four in five people responded that flexible work should be a legal right for everyone in the workplace.

‘Companies need to move away from the ‘seat-warmer’ mentality and realise that flexible work can work for everyone’

Communication around flexibility needs to improve, too, as two-fifths of those surveyed weren’t sure whether or not their employer offered such measures.

This is a major issue for companies going forward, as talent recruitment and retainment is going to keep evolving in the coming years. With nine out of 10 people saying they would leave their current job if they were offered flexibility in another role, businesses will need to start considering the needs of modern employees.

Employer attitudes will need to adapt too, given that more than half of the people surveyed said they wouldn’t feel comfortable asking their seniors for flexibility, despite feeling that flexible work would allow them a better work/life balance.

Founder of Employflex, Karen O’Reilly, said: “This survey points out the desire of employees for flexible work, above silly perks, salary and even career progression.

“In today’s world, flexibility at work is possible with the developments in technology. Companies need to move away from the ‘seat-warmer’ mentality and realise that flexible work can work for everyone.

“It is alarming to see from the survey that so many people would not feel comfortable asking for flexible work but when it comes to the priority for employees, it is all about flexibility.

“We are standing on the brink of the fourth industrial revolution but many companies are still stuck back in the stone ages when it comes to allowing flexibility in the workplace. These companies will certainly suffer in the future of work.”

Lisa Ardill
By Lisa Ardill

Lisa Ardill joined Silicon Republic as senior careers reporter in July 2019. She has a BA in neuroscience and a master’s degree in science communication. She is also a semi-published poet and a big fan of doggos. Lisa briefly served as Careers Editor at Silicon Republic before leaving the company in June 2021.

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