The perk 74% of workers would quit for

by Nicola Middlemiss16 Oct 2015
HR managers keen to improve retention rates might want to look at the results of a new survey, which is revealing the benefits most likely to lure workers away.

Conducted by Softchoice, the survey found that 74% of North American employees would quit their job for one that allows them to work remotely more often and 70% would quit in favour of a position that offers increased flexibility.

“We found most people really value the freedom to customise 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,” said David MacDonald, President and CEO at Softchoice. “Organisations that enable that kind of flexibility have become highly desirable places to work,” he added.

HRD Crystal Dunlop told HRM that accounting firm RLB had done just that.

Flexible scheduling 

“We realised we needed to move away from the traditional approach in order to attract and retain top talent,” she admitted. “We realised that when we look at benefits or work arrangements we can’t have a one size fits all approach so we put a flex time policy in place to allow for different personal needs or different times in someone’s life depending on where someone in their life cycle.”

According to Dunlop, employees’ customised schedule arrangements can be temporary or permanent – “It’s a recruitment and retention tool but it also allows us to adapt work schedules around business needs,” she said.

Enabling employees 

MacDonald also added that technology has made it easier than ever for employees to stay connected to the workplace anytime, anywhere and – as a result – employees increasingly expect more flexibility over their schedules.

L’Oreal’s VP of HR Catherine Bédard also realised employees were placing increased importance on being able to work remotely but and, tuning into the power of technology, she went one step further than simply allowing employees to work elsewhere.

“I provided a laptop to every product manager and marketing person and salesperson,” she revealed. “We also developed a BYD program for them so they can have access to the information they need, wherever they are.”

However, Softchoice’s survey also revealed that 59% of employees receive a device from their employer for work in and out the office, however, just 24% of organisations have set clear policies and expectations around appropriate work activities after business hours.

Bédard acknowledged it was a challenge when implementing the program; “Only 100 of the 600 employees in headquarters requested to be part of the program,” she revealed. “I was surprised because I thought there would be more people applying – the challenge is, do employees think they will be asked to do too much if they sign up to BYOD.  I need to see.”

The study 

Other findings from Softchoice’s survey of 1,700 employees include:
  • 62% of employees believe they’re more productive working outside the office
  • 61% 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.
  • 57% of employees work remotely on personal or sick days, and 44% of employees worked on their last vacation.


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