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Top Hiring Trend for 2020: Flexible Working

By: Aquent

LAST UPDATED: April 7, 2023

We are seeing an ever increasing trend within the workforce as we move into 2020: The importance of flexibility and the rise of the remote worker.

New Priorities for Candidates

Whilst salary is still a key factor for talent considering job opportunities and employers looking to hire, it’s not the only one. Flexibility ranks a very close second to compensation in terms of what candidates would need to make a move. And we’re seeing flexibility and the ability to work remotely as a priority across every sector, role, and experience level—from entry-level to VP.

What does Flexibility mean?

What does flexibility mean in today’s employment market? For talent, it means working where, when and how they choose. That’s shorter weeks, flexible hours, and, most importantly for many, working remotely, either part or full-time.

4 Ways Employers Can Benefit 

Allowing talent to work remotely can play a major role in helping employers attract and retain top talent. If companies aren’t open to or already hiring remote workers, their ability to find top talent is only going to get more difficult. This extended skilled workforce enables them to move faster, be more agile and remain competitive.

By including remote workers as potential candidates for a position, hiring managers suddenly open up talent searches to the entire country. That increases the number of available candidates with the specialised skills needed and decreases the time it takes to hire the right person.

Many remote workers have on-demand arrangements, giving employers the ability to scale up or down more freely to cover work peaks and troughs, or bring in highly specialised talent for only the period of time they’re needed. This is exactly the kind of flexibility needed for businesses to be competitive.

Eliminating long commutes and the distractions and stress of an office environment can boost talent productivity and the optimal amount of time for working remotely is growing. A Gallup 2012 poll demonstrated optimal employee engagement when employees spent 20% of their time working remotely. Just five years later, that engagement sweet spot was achieved when working 60-80% of the time remotely. Because working remotely is something employees value, it makes sense that they would work hard in order to maintain the arrangement.

In expensive employment markets like London, local talent can demand a premium when negotiating salaries. Remote talent can be a cost-effective alternative.

Flexibility in the Future

As talent costs continue to rise, businesses need flexibility. The gig economy and remote workers give that and more. Working remotely is more than a trend, it’s here to stay. A 2019 report on the State of Remote Work by Buffer found that 99% of those currently working remotely said they wanted to continue doing so, at least some of the time, for the remainder of their careers. We anticipate most businesses moving to at least some form of remote workforce in the future, not only because talent are demanding it, but because of the higher productivity and lower costs associated with remote workers. By embracing the shift to more remote workers today, businesses can be better prepared for tomorrow.