With more employees asking for flexible working than ever before, it’s hardly surprising that marketing professionals ranked flexible working as the most important benefit to them in our annual Marketing Salary Survey.
Respondents placed the ability to work flexibly as a more important benefit to them than contributory pensions, training (paid courses), bonuses, private healthcare, and more.
Early finishes, late starts, part-time hours, job sharing, homeworking, and hot desking – the list of flexible working options is growing. There’s plenty of research out there on the advantages of flexibility for not just employees, but employers too. A recent Campaign Live article, featuring the founders of a company called The Hoxby Collective, discussed the subject around flexible working in the creative industry, and why empowering employees to work in new ways is vital to success.
In the article, Lizzie Penny talked about four interesting and thought-provoking questions she and co-founder Alex Hirst frustratingly-asked themselves when setting up their business: “[1.]..is the traditional 9-5 (a concept conceived over 200 years ago and yet still so prevalent) still fit for purpose; [2.]..does anyone truly benefit from presenteeism and the ‘coat on chair’ culture; [3.]..why is some of the best talent being excluded from the workforce because of geographical location, parental responsibility or a myriad of other reasons; and, ..how can we engage that talent in order for them to feel fulfilled and happy?”.
Just as Lizzie and Alex observed when coming up with the concept of their business; flexible working in the marketing and creative industry is so important. Particularly when you consider the strong argument for flexible hours and working being a positive and valuable thing for creativity itself; as well as the industry being one with a large population of female workers, and a clear need for ‘millennial’ talent (these two groups being the proportion of the workforce which arguably place the most importance on flexible working patterns). As a recruitment agency specialising solely on creative, PR, and marketing jobs, work-life balance and the ability to work flexibly is something that is consistently a concern for many of our candidates when looking to move roles.
Our Employer Marketing Recruitment Survey indicated that 70% of hiring managers felt that it was either important or extremely important to offer flexible working/homeworking/part-time hours at their company. We also found that 24% of marketing professionals currently work from home a minimum of one day a week – a result we expect to see increase even more so in the years to come. In fact, recent research from job board, Totaljobs, found that 28% of employees would move jobs if they were not allowed to work from home.
Totaljobs’ group marketing director, Martin Talbot, commented on their research findings: “With the UK in the throes of a productivity crisis, now is the time for employers to find ways of addressing this issue.” He went on to say, “Our research [also] confirms a shift towards remote working, with an increasing number of millennials viewing the option to work remotely as a priority when looking for a new job. With news that 28% of workers would change jobs if their current employer did not offer remote working, it is more important than ever for businesses to improve their work from home offering.”
As part of our Marketing Salary Survey, respondents listed work/life balance as a key motivator as to why they were looking to leave their current role, alongside career advancement/lack of progression, seeking a new challenge, remuneration, and management/work environment. Considering that 54% of marketers told us they’d be considering a career move within the next 12 months; staff retention will continue to be a concern and, hopefully, a priority for employers over the next year.
Having said this, we have noticed that many more businesses are starting to realise the benefit and importance of a well-thought-out employee retention strategy; and a key way these employers are attempting to retain their top staff is through offering more flexible working. Furthermore, only 14% of the marketing professionals we surveyed told us that their companies didn’t currently offer any flexible working options. Any employers who want to keep hold of their top creative and marketing talent should be aware of the growing need to provide flexible working options, and as such, perhaps open their minds to new ways of working…
Download our full Marketing Recruitment Review and Salary Survey 2018/2019 for more insights and survey statistics.