It’s a job seeker’s market, with low unemployment, projected pay raises, and employers planning to hire full-time, permanent workers in the second half of 2018.
However, in too many cases, employers simply look at the hours or patterns that an individual is working and focus all their attention on how they can continue to deliver as before, but in fewer hours or from a different location. In doing so, they’re setting the individual up to fail, and potentially creating resentment amongst other employees who end up having to pick up the slack.
Slowly but surely, the traditional 9am to 5pm job—and the long commute it sometimes entails—is becoming a thing of the past.
In practice, then, so-called flexible jobs are often not designed flexibly but have flexibility thrust upon them, without proper thought and with limited success. Clearly, that’s not right – but what should employers do instead? While specific solutions will be different for each sector or organisation, there are some core areas that always need to be addressed within proper job design:
- Looking at what your objectives are and what outputs are required to achieve them.
- Thinking about where your team needs to be and how often, if at all, they need to meet.
- Considering when your work needs to be done, and how many people need to be available at any one time.
- Challenging your preconceptions and looking creatively at what kinds of flexibility could work within the above parameters.
The top 10 career categories hiring for flexible jobs in 2018
2. Computer & IT
3. Medical & Health
4. Customer Service
5. Education & Training
5. Account/Project Management
8. Accounting & Finance
10. HR & Recruiting
Statistics that demonstrate the impact and growth in flexible work options:
• According to a forecast of employment trends by the World Economic Forum, work flexibility is one of the biggest drivers of transformation in the workplace.
• 75% of companies worldwide have introduced flexible working policies to enable employees to vary their hours and use the latest technologies to work remotely.
• 89% of employers worldwide believe flexible working helps their business grow.
• If every firm in the country adopted work flexibility, the economy could save about $15 billion annually.
• The number of people who say they’ve quit a job due to lack of flexibility has nearly doubled from 17% in 2014 to 32% in 2017.
• 53% of professionals work remotely at least half of the week—and increasingly, employers are embracing remote work and other flexible options.