Another day, another report showing just how transformative workplace flexibility is. This time, it's the 2019 IWG Global Workspace Survey, which welcomes us to Generation Flex and asserts that flexible working is the new norm. "The idea of commuting for hours to work 9-5 in a dreary office is fast becoming as about as relevant as a fax machine in the working day," writes Mark Dixon, CEO and founder of IWG.
After surveying more than 15,000 business people across 80 nations, IWG is sharing powerful statistics about flex. One standout? 83 percent of respondents worldwide said that, all other things being equal, they would choose a job with access to flexibility over one without. So it's no wonder that a worldwide average of 77 percent of businesses are using flexible working to attract and retain top talent, with even higher percentages in Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, India, and the United States. And even companies in business sectors associated with fixed locations are flaunting their flex appeal—e.g. 70 percent of manufacturing companies and 67 percent of retailers.
The survey also showed how much workers value location-based modifications to the workday: 70 percent of respondents said having a choice of work environment is a key factor in their job searches. Having a choice of work environment is also more important than working for a prestigious company for 54 percent of workers, more important than having an increase in holiday allowance for 54 percent, more important than never working overtime for 41 percent, and more important than having a prestigious role for 32 percent. Furthermore, 25 percent of respondents said they'd prefer to live elsewhere but don't because their commute would be longer—whereas the flexibility types we call Remote and DeskPlus would grant these workers more freedom in choosing where they live and work.
IWG's research echoes what we at Werk determined with our own research: that the companies that implement a data-based approach to flexibility now are the ones that will enjoy the most success in the flexible future. "The evidence is stacking up that modern businesses simply must embrace a flexible working culture on at least some level in order to stay competitive," Dixon concludes in the IWG report. "But those that don't embrace this 'new normal' risk lagging behind and missing out on all the many benefits it can bring."