Two-fifths of UK employees cite flexible hours as most important job element

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More than two-fifths (44%) of UK employees cite the ability to work flexible hours as the most important element of a job, according to research by Jellyfish Training.

Its survey of 2,000 full and part-time professionals in the UK also found that 40% of respondents believe praise and recognition of their work is the most important element of a job, alongside the colleagues they work with (45%), having a meaningful purpose (42%), career progression (40%) and learning and development opportunities (33%).

Almost four in 10 (37%) respondents would consider a pay cut in return for being able to work flexible hours; 23%, for example, would be willing to forgo 3% of their wages.

Half (51%) of employees would choose career progression over receiving a pay rise and 33% could accept a 3% pay cut in order to access better career opportunities. Despite this, 90% agreed that a pay rise boosts morale in the workplace.

Close to nine in 10 (87%) respondents want to feel respected at work, while 83% would like to feel cared about and 80% simply want their work to be recognised by others.

Jamie Hammond, managing director at Jellyfish Training, said: “All too often, [organisations] are investing in unique perks they think will motivate and engage employees. Our research highlights that [while] weird and wonderful benefits like unlimited holiday and massages might be something to shout about [while] recruiting, the secret to retaining a happy workforce is not as complex. Simply, [employers] need to put the employee first.

“Today’s workforce [sees] benefits like flexible working as a common necessity, not a perk, so employers need to consider what the new fundamental motivators are. These three motivators are the unwritten expectations and obligations between employees and employers. When fulfilled, people will do their best work. When broken, people will be less satisfied and committed, which will lead to dips in performance.”

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