“If you always do what you’ve always done, you will always get what you’ve always got”. This quote is credited to several figures throughout history but it’s not who said it first that matters but the point that it makes.

Employers should keep this quote in mind as they hear that new research has found that flexible working is the number one benefit that employees would like to have now and in the future. The study by Grass Roots surveyed 1,000 people across 18 different sectors and saw flexible working arrangements beat even traditional benefits such as a pension scheme which came in 4th place.

Flexible working proved to be popular across all age groups, proving most popular with 25-65-year-olds however, 30% of 18-24-year-olds still chose it as their top priority.  These findings indicate that work-life balance has become more important to employees than other incentives. Therefore, in order for companies to attract and retain top talent, they need to really consider offering flexibility upfront for all new positions whether on a contractual or non-contractual basis. It’s a common misconception that flexible working is only of benefit to the employee and means working less than full-time hours. In fact, flexible working (if properly negotiated) can have real benefits for both parties.

Employers who offer flexible working arrangements have found a reduction in sickness/absence, an increase in productivity and an increase in employee engagement and retention. Add in to that the fact that offering flexibility produces a more diverse workforce, it’s really a no-brainer!

Flexiworkforce.com, the only UK-wide Diversity & Inclusion Employer Solution jobs platform specialising in all types of flexible working patterns, aims to help connect the 14.1 million people in the UK who want or need flexible working with employers in need of bridging the ever-growing skills gap.

Tracey Eker, CEO of Flexiworkforce.com, said, “The future of work is flexibility, employers need to do things differently if they want to attract and retain top talent and to create a diverse and inclusive workplace”, she continued, employers have to be open to at least  the discussion of flexibility within their workplace, otherwise they will end up bypassing many people with the talent and skills to change their business for the better and will be increasing their overall recruitment bill due increasing employee attrition rates”.