Posted On June 19, 2014
For better or worse, the American workforce is increasingly focused on flexibility. Some workers want the flexibility to work on their own time, often in their own environments. Some want the flexibility to pursue personal passions outside of their 9-5 jobs. Some companies want the flexibility of hiring and firing at will, with minimal HR administration. Some want the financial flexibility of limiting employee benefits.
No matter which side of the conversation you are on, there are serious conversations happening about flexibility in the workforce. In “Rise of the ‘flex’ economy,” Christian Science Monitor writer Simone Baribeau provides a 360-degree view of the way flexibility helps and hinders employees and employers.
Baribeau spoke with Gen X and Millennials in a variety of industries and a range of salaries and the results are fairly consistent: they want to find balance between personal and professional, stability and monotony, autonomy and security. What stands out in this article is how most, though certainly not all, of the interviewees made flexibility work for them, even if the original decision was not theirs.
By its nature, flexibility is flexible. Not every program or approach fits every industry, company or person. But it can be a valuable tool for attracting and retaining younger generations of workers, and in some cases, can also help a business control its bottom line.