by Jennifer O'Brien

‘Flexible work’ the new normal for fourth industrial revolution: Hays

May 03, 2018
Technology Industry

Flexible working arrangements is the linchpin to employee happiness in the unfolding fourth industrial revolution where emerging technologies are reshaping industries and ways of work.

That’s according to a survey by recruiting firm Hays of 1,253 professionals and 951 employers. According to the survey, the lion’s share of employers – 89 per cent – said flexible working options are very important or important when it comes to staff attraction and retention.

Of the professionals surveyed, 33 per cent said flexible working options were critical to their remaining in employment. A further 63 per cent said they were ‘nice to have’. Just four per cent said flexible work was not important to them. “A third of professionals identifying flexible work as critical to remaining employed is significant and we predict this figure will only grow as our cities become more congested and the proportion of younger workers increases,” said Hays A/NZ managing director, Nick Deligiannis. “There are many reasons why people may require flexible working options, including living further from CBDs to access affordable housing, balancing ongoing caring responsibilities, ramping back up after parental leave or throttling back from full time work toward retirement,” he said. “The emerging technologies of the fourth industrial revolution have made flexible working arrangements more accessible and transparent, which people are aware of. For this reason, it’s also becoming more important to staff attraction and retention.” Meanwhile, millennials see flexible work as a given, according to Deligiannis.

“Millennials (those born between the early 1980s to early 1990s) are pursuing work-life integration rather than work-life balance successfully and are happy for work and life to coexist – provided their employer allows them to utilise technology to work flexibly,” he said.

“Younger workers are also more willing to move from one work assignment or contract to another than previous generations and have higher levels of confidence when it comes to sharing and collaborating securely online.”