Developing Careers for Office Staff

Two thirds of companies saw a rise in flexible working requests last year

An in-depth global recruitment industry report, commissioned by The Angela Mortimer Group, has revealed that in 2018, 65% of companies saw an increase in flexible working requests from employees, up from 54% the previous year.

Known in the industry as the Blue Book, the report is the world’s largest and longest running face-to-face employment survey.

As well as candidates, the survey interviews recruiters, managing directors and HR managers from an array of organisations including start-ups, major banks, finance, insurance, accountancy and legal firms, large media, marketing and digital companies, HR, property, universities, hospitals, IT providers, charities and luxury brands.

The data reveals that salary increase is no longer the main driver for jobseekers declining offers, with only 9% reporting it as a reason. In fact, according to the report, the main reason for candidates declining job offers at 16.8% is work-life balance.

When it comes to leaving a job, career progression continues to fall, with only 16% of employees providing it as the reason for moving on. On the other hand, work-life balance picked up more leavers this year, with 13% noting it as their main reason for leaving.

It seems disparity exists between employee and employer however, with 46% of businesses believing the main reason for employees leaving them is career progression, compared to only 3% thinking it is due to work-life balance.

John Mortimer, CEO at Angela Mortimer Group, comments: “While the number of employees seeking flexible working is on the rise, our report indicates that people care about their work more than ever.

“As well as the working week increasing to an average of 43 hours, two thirds of organisations said that work is becoming more meaningful within their business for their people.

“So, contrary to the assumption that a desire for work-life balance means staff are feeling more entitled, what our research actually indicates is that people really do care about their jobs and are working harder whilst looking for ways to balance this with the rest of their busy lives.

“Positively, nearly half of organisations recognise that the physical office space is becoming less important to achieving business success in some industries, thanks to advancements in technology. What’s more, a quarter of employers offer a flexible benefits package and this pick-and-mix approach is seen increasingly as a way of appealing to a wider range of candidates in a controlled manner.”

Now in its 15th year, the Blue Book survey is the most comprehensive in the industry, reporting on everything from salaries to benefits, desirable working environments, interview practices, and attitudes between employers and employees. For more information about the Blue Book or to order a free copy, email bluebook@angelamortimer.com.

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