Employees Show Preference for Work Flexibility, New Survey Shows

By | March 8, 2024
Workplace Flexibility
According to the Randstad Workmonitor 2024 report, 37% of workers believe working from home has come to stay.

If there’s one thing we’ve learned from the past few years, it’s that the way we work has been turned upside down.

The COVID-19 pandemic acted as a catalyst for a seismic shift in employee expectations, and work flexibility has taken center stage.

Ignoring these changing demands is not an option if you want to attract and retain the best talent out there.

The latest Randstad Workmonitor report, that is 2024, lays it all out for us, and we’d better pay attention!

This annual survey by the global human resources consultancy firm Randstad is based on the views of over 27,000 workers across 34 markets.

Talk about a comprehensive look at what’s on the minds of talent!

The Rise of Remote and Hybrid Work

Let’s face it, remote work wasn’t exactly a foreign concept before the pandemic, but it sure did get a major boost during those crazy lockdown days.

As stated in the report, a whopping 37% of workers have “made arrangements in their lives (e.g., moved houses, got a pet) based on the assumption that working from home is here to stay.”

Can you blame them, though? After experiencing the freedom and flexibility of remote work, who wouldn’t want to ditch the dreaded commute and enjoy a better work-life balance?

Here’s the deal: employees are totally vibing with this whole remote work situation, but a lot of employers are trying to drag them back to the office.

According to this report, 41% of workers said their bosses have been cracking down hard on making sure people come into the office lately.

Talk about a culture clash!

It’s like a full-on tug-of-war between the old school and the new school ways of working, and the talent is firmly planted on Team Flexibility.

And let’s be real, after getting a taste of those sweet, sweet remote work perks, it’s no shocker that employees are putting their foot down.

The Nuances of Flexibility

So, when we say flexibility, it is not just about working from home or the office. It’s a much more nuanced concept.

The report mentions that flexible working hours are considered more crucial (41%) when making a decision about a new position than flexible work location (37%).

So, it is not just where, but when we work that really matters to people.

It is being able to shuffle your schedule to fit your personal preferences or work during your productive peak hours.

That’s just a straight-up great move to better your work-life and overall job satisfaction.

And get this: different generations and industries have varying preferences when it comes to flexibility.

The report notes that workplace and time flexibility is most cherished by Generation Z (born between 1997 and 2005) with 46% prioritizing workplace flexibility and 51% preferring flexible hours when looking for their next job.

On the other hand, older generations like Baby Boomers (1946–1964) aren’t as gung-ho about flexibility, with only 31% prioritizing location flexibility and 35% concerned about flexible hours, according to the survey.

Perhaps it’s a matter of traditional work habits or simply different life stages?

Either way, it’s clear that a one-size-fits-all approach won’t cut it.

Striking the Right Balance

Alright, so we’ve established that talent wants flexibility, but employers have their own business needs to consider.

How do we strike the right balance? Well, it’s not going to be easy, but it’s certainly not impossible either.

As the Randstad report shows, employers should therefore consider how to accommodate time spent in the workplace against the company’s priorities.

Doing so will likely benefit both talent retention and acquisition while still achieving strategic mandates.

One could get the best of both worlds, like a hybrid arrangement, some times work is done in the office and the other times at home or any other place.

In this way, one could get the rights and advantages of both places: like, they may choose to work from anywhere, or they can spend time in the office to work face-to-face when it comes to certain roles or projects.

The thought or thing that counts is the result, much more than the factors of hours worked and location.

Like, what’s really important is if the work gets done? This adjustment could be pretty advantageous in supporting those knowledge workers or creative types whose value is not tied to productivity or some schedule as they contribute in unique ways to the bottom line.

Oh, and we can’t forget about keeping those communication lines wide open.

The report emphasizes that employers have to create clear lines of communication with colleagues to understand what career growth looks like to them and what motivators they need.

By actually listening to what employees want and being upfront about the company’s priorities, employers can hopefully find that sweet spot where everybody’s happy.

Maybe it’s a mix of remote and in-office, or perhaps it’s shifting to a more flexible schedule with some core working hours.

Looking Ahead

Here’s the thing, folks: workplace flexibility is no longer a temporary trend or a pandemic-era fad.

It’s a fundamental expectation for many employees, and it’s here to stay.

As the Randstad report states, “Forward-thinking employers should provide forums where policies can be discussed among the workforce, as well as offer transparency over any changes to the flexibility they offer.”

Employers who fail to adapt their policies and workplace culture to meet these evolving demands risk losing out on top talent to their more flexible competitors.

And let’s be real, in today’s tight labor market, that’s a risk no company can afford to take.


Look, it’s clear at the end of the day. You have to accept the workplace flexibility we all are in this post COVID era.

Employers should be open to ideas and optimize relevant policies to fit everyone.

It also comes to the talent pool at the end of the day. Who doesn’t like it when they recruit a well-driven candidate?

It would be best if we all had open talks and new profound ideas to make this possible, who knows, when all of us are working in a flexible way, we’d probably be the happiest for it and most productive also.