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Many would quit for more flexibility

Wednesday October 28, 2015 Written by  Retain Canada
Employees want more freedom over where and when they work and they’re willing to quit to get it.

According to a new study by Softchoice, a North American IT solutions and managed services provider, 78 per cent of employees highly value the ability to access work from outside the office. The survey also found that 70 per cent or workers would leave their job for one that offers more workday flexibility, including the ability to work remotely more often.

“Technology has made it easier than ever for employees to stay connected to the workplace anytime, anywhere and, as a result, employees increasingly enjoy more flexibility over their schedules,” said David MacDonald, president and CEO at Softchoice. “We found most people really value the freedom to customize their workday – to be able to run an errand, schedule an appointment, or pick up their kids from school, and catch up on work when it suits them. Organizations that enable that kind of flexibility have become highly desirable places to work.”

The Death of the Desk Job survey polled 1,700 full-time employees from across North America to understand how the traditional workday is changing based on employee preferences, and what role technology is playing in this evolution. The results show 55 per cent of employees have more flexible work hours than they did two to three years ago. In addition, 75 per cent of employees said they’re able to keep more family, social and personal commitments because they can remotely access work anytime they need.

Additional highlights include:

  • Employees don’t think their desk, or even their office, is where they do their best work. Sixty-two per cent of employees believe they’re more productive working outside the office.
  • The 9-to-5 workday is passé: 61 per cent of employees prefer working the equivalent of an eight hour workday broken up over a longer day, rather than in a single 9-to-5 block.
  • More than half of employees (57 per cent) work remotely on personal or sick days, and 44 per cent of employees worked on their last vacation.
  • Most organizations are enabling a mobile workforce, but not governing one: 59 per cent of employees receive a device from their employer for work in and out the office, however, just 24 per cent of organizations have set clear policies and expectations around appropriate work activities after business hours.

“Though many organizations enable remote work by issuing corporate devices, technology alone isn't enough to fulfill evolving employee needs,” MacDonald said. “Not everyone has the same definition of work-life balance, so it’s up to the employer to set clear expectations around acceptable work activities beyond business hours.”

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