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Flexible Working, the New Norm for Employees

Flexible working agreements may be the key to attracting and retaining top employees, and prevent further loss of critical skills, professional workforce and executive talent in South Africa. Here is why flexible working is becoming such a big attraction in recruitment.

The global picture

Flexible and remote working policies are no longer a perk, but an essential tool to assist with employee recruitment and retention. Employers who offer flexible working arrangement attest that productivity increases in their business as a result of greater employee flexibility while reducing capital expenditure and lowering occupational health and related risks.

Globally, 50% of employees are working outside of their main office headquarters for at least 2.5 days a week, a massive shift in the general employees’ working habits. Organisations worldwide have started to introduce flexible working as a priority measure to attract and retain employees, as reported by global research.

South Africa and flexible working

The statistics don’t lie. 86% of South Africans would choose a job that also offered flexible working when faced with two similar job offers, and 66% are ready to give up working for prestigious companies in favour of more flexible work arrangement for a less-known business, according to the latest independent IWG Global Workspace Survey.

The study showed that South Africa is catching on to the need for flexibility to retain talent. A majority of 89% of respondents had a flexible working policy in place or planned to put one in place.  Over 75% said that businesses in their sector were introducing flexible working solely to help reduce commute times.

Globally, the reasons for the flexible working increase are justified by overall better work productivity, enhanced company agility, reduced human capital costs, and major top skills and talent retention in specific industries battling serious ‘brain drain.’

In South Africa, where keeping critical skills remains a valid concern in the professional, semi-professional and technical industries, flexible working can help improve the odds and prevent further skills loss in those markets.

Business and government entities need to move from a long-standing non-flexible working culture to a flexible working environment to be able to compete for talent with top international recruiters and employers offering flexible policies as the norm.

The IWG Global Workspace Survey canvassed over 15 000 respondents from over 80 countries for their views on the changing workplace and flexible working.

Professional Sourcing is a top-tier South African-based recruitment agency operating internationally, IPM accredited, LEVEL 2 BEE RATED and 51% Black Owned.

Our agency specialises in professional placements (senior and specialist talent) and exclusive skills recruitment to a wide range of industries, including JSE’s top 100 companies, SMEs and the Public Sector.

Our agency specialises in professional placements (senior and specialist talent) and exclusive skills recruitment to a wide range of industries, including JSE’s top 100 companies, SMEs and the Public Sector. -- Patricia Koekemoer

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