Flexible Working is Now a Recruitment Deal Breaker

Workplace flexibility is becoming a crucial factor in recruitment and retention across APAC.

The conclusion, based on new findings from the recent IWG Global Workplace Survey, pointed to increasing calls by employees for a flexible workspace policy, which IWG defines as the ability to choose and change their workplace location. 

The survey studied the opinions of over 15,000 respondents from 80 different countries.

Research showed that 83 percent of global respondents chose their jobs based on flexible working. Almost one-third (28 percent) valued the ability to select work location over increasing holiday allowance.

Companies are responding by introducing workspace policies. In the survey, 85 percent noted that they have one or planning to add one. However, many also see organizational culture as a significant hurdle (60 percent). Over a third (41 percent) also feared that flexible working might deteriorate company culture.

The APAC region, which saw 1,771 respondents from nine countries participating in the survey, also saw similar sentiments. Forty-three percent saw work location more important than not having to work overtime. Eighty-two percent were willing to turn down jobs that did not have flexible working.

Like their global peers, APAC companies felt a nonflexible company culture as a significant hurdle (55 percent). Interestingly, they saw data security (48 percent) as a second barrier to embracing flexible working.   

"Last year our Global Workspace Survey talked about reaching a tipping point, but what we see now is that flexible working is considered by many to be the new norm for any business that is serious about productivity, agility and winning the war for top talent. Indeed, half of all our respondents claim to work outside their main office location for at least half of the week,” said Mark Dixon, chief executive officer and founder of IWG. 

Other global conclusions include:

  • Seventy-one percent of companies see offering flexible working allows them to expand their talent pool.
  • Eight-five percent of companies confirm that productivity has increased in their business because of greater flexibility, with 67 percent seeing a 21 percent improvement in productivity as a result of flexible working.
  • Over a third of businesses are looking to expand internationally this year, and 64 percent of respondents said that they had chosen flexible working because it accelerates speed to market in new countries.
  • Forty percent of respondents worldwide see commuting as the worst part of the day, and more than half of respondents believed that it could be obsolete in a decade (2030). 
  • Fifty percent of those surveyed globally and 54 percent in APAC noted that they now work outside their company’s main location for at least half the working week or more.