As our economy continues to grow and shift, there seems to be a growing emphasis placed on the importance of flexibility in the workplace, not only for workers but also for the companies who employ them.

The Mom Corps Survey

A recent survey conducted by staffing firm Mom Corps found that nearly half of the employees surveyed would be willing to trade an average of 10 percent of their salary in exchange for more flexible work options at the office. In fact, most employees believe that being able to occasionally work outside the office would indeed make them more productive than they are in their current situation.

Not surprisingly, working parents felt particularly strongly on this issue, with 80 percent stating that flexible work options would allow them to parent more effectively and nearly 71 percent naming flexibility as one of the leading factors they consider when looking for a new job.

The Randstad Survey

Similarly, more and more small businesses are looking for more flexibility when it comes to employment as well. Staffing agency Randstad conducted a new study that revealed that nearly 70 percent of businesses currently use contingent workers (either temporary or contract employees, or consultants).

Most businesses indicated as well that contingent workers were coming to compose an increasing percentage of their total staff, as this strategy has allowed their business to remain solvent and better handle economic ups and downs.

The Small Business Labs/MBO Partners Survey

This trend is reflected in the number of employees who are choosing to become independent workers these days, either by freelancing or some other form of self employment. Small Business Labs partnered with MBO Partners on a State of Independence survey that revealed the following data:

In the IT industry alone, the number of independent workers in the market rose by 5.6% in the past year, with expected totals over the next five years expected to reach 23 million. Essentially, the top 3 reasons workers listed for making the switch to independent employment were: more control of their schedule, more flexibility, and wanting to be their own boss.

References:

Brooks, Chad. “Freelance Workers Have Permanent Spot at US Companies.” Business News Daily. 9/11/12. (9/16/12.)

Workers Crave Flexibility at Work Above All Else.” Business News Daily. 8/30/12. (9/16/12.)

Houston, Patrick. “IT Free Agency: A Migraine for Managers.” Information Week. 9/11/12. (9/16/12.)

King, Steve (Emergent Research). “It’s All About Flexibility.” Small Business Labs. 9/12/12. (9/16/12.)

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