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Flexibility stems costly staff turnover
Middle East must attract and retain top employees through flexible working, reveals survey
January 22, 2014 3:44 by Maha El Gazzar
Business people in the Middle East region reveal flexible working is often the make-or-break of job offers. Seventy four per cent reveal that they would choose one job over another similar one if it offered flexible working. A staggering 71 per cent confirm that flexible working also improves staff retention, according to the latest survey by Regus.
Recruitment is an expensive process that many global businesses are keen to reduce. A recent report by the Hays Group attributed the high rate of staff turnover in the Middle East region to the 52 per cent of respondents that felt that their employers did not offer a good work-life balance. With employee retention reported as a priority for more than one third of businesses, what measures should firms be prioritising to slash hiring costs, attract and retain top staff? Flexible working, respondents reveal, provides a solution to all three.
The survey, canvassing the opinions of more than 20,000 senior executives and business owners across 95 countries confirms that, in the Middle East region, flexible working can be used to avoid employee churn (and the consequent expense of recruitment agencies) as 67 per cent of respondents point to it as a perk that attracts top talent.
The research also found that:
- Sixty six per cent of respondents say offering flexible working makes employees more loyal
- Fifty four per cent of workers would actually turn down a job that ruled out flexible working
- Fifty eight per cent say they would have stayed longer in their last position had flexible working been an option
Commenting on the study, Samer Mouneimne, area director at Regus, says: “Hiring and retaining top talent is an age-old priority for successful businesses, but not all companies can afford to offer golden bonuses or salaries above market rate while remaining competitive. Lowering staff turnover is also vital in reducing recruitment agency costs and the inconvenience of starting the hiring process.
“Other benefits of flexible working, which often costs less than fixed-office working, can include lowering stress and improving work-life balance. It’s also striking how mainstream the perk of flexible working has become, with many respondents actually choosing a job based on this factor alone.”