Balance + Flexibility: It’s Not Yoga. It’s Employment in 2022
The Great Resignation. The Great Reshuffling. The Great Upgrade. The Great Reset. The Great Reimagination. The Great Questioning. Whatever label you prefer, this ubiquitous assessment of “what it is that I want from my job and life” among workers has reverberated across workplaces worldwide. The fallout of this epic life-versus-work evaluation can be seen in serious burnout, high departure rates, and plenty of employees eyeing the door.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics found that around 13 million workers in the U.S. quit their jobs in just the last quarter of 2021. According to the Microsoft 2021 Work Trend Index, “41 percent of the global workforce is likely to consider leaving their current employer within the next year” while the number of LinkedIn members who changed jobs between August and October of 2021 was 28% higher compared to that same period in 2019.
What Do Employees Want?
Wages are up 5.7% over the last year according to January’s Federal Reserve data, yet resignations and dissatisfaction remain. The abundance of job openings and higher wage opportunities are evidence that compensation is not the only decision-making factor for talent right now. What else are employees and job seekers searching for in a new opportunity?
Room to Balance
LinkedIn’s 2022 Global Talent Trends Report: The Reinvention of Company Culture found that work-life balance is the top priority for professionals when seeking a new job, followed by compensation and benefits. Paro, the Chicago-based research firm, found that “39% of knowledge workers cited work-life balance as the most important element of their job in 2022, while only 28% cited compensation.”
Why is balance so critical? Life in 2020 and 2021 put tremendous strains on individuals and families. Isolation, fear, loss, uncertainty, grief, illness, financial worries, and more all compounded and could not be solved by throwing everything into work. People were forced and/or inspired to find new and creative ways to be in the world, overcome challenges, connect with friends and family, and find solace. Going forward, few people are willing to let go of the tools, time, and support they gained for taking care of themselves and their families. They are asking for more balance and finding employers that will bend and stretch to give employees the support to hold on to what matters most.
Flexibility that Cultivates Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI)
Flexibility of location and/or schedule is one of the most powerful commodities an employer has to offer right now. According to the LinkedIn Global Talent Trends Report, job postings that mention flexibility will get 35% greater engagement than those that do not. Capturing more job seekers, flexibility also powers diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). How? With opportunities like flexible work schedules, compressed workweeks and work-from-home options, businesses will attract job seekers from a broader range of demographics. For example, a job that offers a shortened work week or workday would be appealing to a wide variety of people, such as stay-at-home parents, international talent in distant time zones, caregivers, people in or nearing retirement, students and Gen Z candidates who identify “flexibility” as their top career priority. The candidate pool is bigger and more diverse.
Increasing flexibility is also a way to de-emphasize attendance and focus on the quality of the work delivered. If a business stops counting hours in the office and redirects focus on performance and outcomes, employees will rise to the challenge. Focusing on results also helps to level the playing field and provide more workplace opportunities to those who may have less time in the office but equal or greater ability to deliver great outcomes.
Our Approach: Fully Embracing Flexibility
Mojo Trek is striving to make the workplace work better for our employees and flexibility has become central to that effort. While other businesses are calling workers back to the office, we allow our staff to work from anywhere, no matter their job. It’s a model we know works for our industry while helping us retain experienced and talented professionals. And that is just one of the benefits of our flexible model. Here are seven more:
6 More Benefits of Flexibility
- Employees are willing to take pay cuts to be able to work from home, reducing workforce spend.
- Employers can cast a wider net for open roles, extending recruitment beyond local limits to a regional, national, or even global talent pool.
- It’s a way to build a culture of trust in which employees are given the autonomy to manage their workloads without a manager directly over their shoulders.
- From rent and utilities to parking and food, employers save substantial money when they can reduce their real estate footprint.
- Plenty of evidence over the lasts several years that people who work from home are equally if not more productive in their work.
- And finally there’s the balance factor. Workplace flexibility enables better work/life balance by giving employees more choice in how they arrange their work and lives.
Ready to Adapt?
While not every business can offer work-from-anywhere employment, there are several ways businesses can embrace the flexibility job seekers are looking for, such as:
- A compressed work week: working a traditional 35–40-hour workweek in less than the traditional number of workdays
- Job sharing: having one job with two people filling the role
- Part-time: working less than 40 hours a week
No matter the approach your business takes to improving life at work for employees, be sure to start by asking them what they want. Use the individual approach and focus employees are longing for to your advantage and create programs that match their needs and goals.