The demand for flexibility is now universal

Aug 10, 2022

More than two months have passed since Elon Musk sent out his vitriolic tweet against telecommuting within his group. A message that will have given the "pope" of the “what the future will look like”, the face of a reactionary boss, disconnected from the realities of the moment. In fact, the demand for flexibility (remote jobs, flexible working hours, 4-day week ...) is now the greatest demand of employees on the labor market and the rant of the boss of Tesla looks really like an own goal.

According to figures published by Lemon.oi, Google searches for the phrase "work when you want remote jobs" grew dramatically by +556% after the Tesla boss's diatribe, and the words "what are the most requested remote jobs" jumped by +337%.

For Alexandr Volodarsky, founder and Chief Twitter Officer of Lemon.io, "rather wathan forcing outdated practices, leaders must embrace this change and consider how to use it to their advantage. Otherwise, like those already searching for remote jobs, talent will simply seek flexibility elsewhere."

Flexibility isn't just for Western countries

Flexibility is now a key variable both in terms of recruiting the best people and retaining them within the company. As the LinkedIn 2022 Global Talent Trends survey found, employees who are satisfied with the time and location flexibility of the organization they work for are 2.6 times more likely to be satisfied and 2.1 times more likely to recommend it.

In the labor market, flexibility is now the big demand of employees. And not only in Western economies, as a short-minded reading might suggest. An example is South Africa.

The Great Resignation is also at work in this country. In this context, the proportion of companies having difficulties hiring talent, particularly in key positions, has risen from 24% in 2020 to 90% this year. At the same time, retention challenges have also increased, according to a WTW survey conducted in the country.

In response to these challenges, South African business leaders have decided to pull several levers to enhance the attractiveness of the organizations they lead. And guess what? 70% of them have chosen (and this is their first choice) to increase the flexibility of work processes. The demand for flexibility is now universal. And unlike Elon Musk, more and more large companies are embracing this revolution.

Undeniable advantages

If Airbnb seems to be THE leader in this field, the group is far from being the only one. LinkedIn, Kickstarter GitHub and Netflix have all launched unlimited vacation policies. Grant Thornton, the U.S. accounting giant, tailors its strategy according to the location of its offices. The company offers many benefits. They include flexible time off as needed, as well as flexible work arrangements such as reduced work hours. A CIPD study found that 90% of employees consider flexible working to be a key motivator for their productivity at work, even more than financial incentives (77%).

A slew of statistics demonstrating the benefits of flexible working for both employers have recently appeared. According to them:  

-77% of employees said they were more productive when working from home (CoSo Cloud)

-74% of employees said that the ability to have a more flexible schedule (including remote work) would make them less likely to leave their current job (Owl Labs)

- 69% of millennials would give up some benefits to get a more flexible work schedule in the workplace (CBRE)

- Organizations open to remote work see an average gain of $2,000 in profit per unique worker (Stanford)

In a few numbers, it all adds up...

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