Job Seekers Are Choosing Flexibility Over Salary

Flexibility and Changing Workplace Expectations

For many years, job-hunting was primarily about securing a position with the highest possible salary, but for a new generation of job seekers it’s not all about the money. A growing number of Americans across all sectors of the economy are choosing flexible jobs even if it means a smaller paycheck.

This is especially the case when it comes to Millennials and stay-at-home mothers, which are the two groups for whom flexibility is most important. The common denominator between younger Americans and stay-at-home parents is that they are unwilling to let work commitments dominate their entire lives. Instead, they prefer a work-life balance where they have control over their schedules and can prioritize their time accordingly.

The desire for flexibility over a higher income means that traditional norms in the workplace are losing their relevancy. Instead of staying with the same company for many years and working their way up the organization’s hierarchy—which was typical of the Baby Boomer generation—the majority of Millennials leave their employer within three years of starting the job.

Millennials Prefer Flexibility Above All

One of the primary reasons that turnover rates are so high for younger employees stems from the value that they place on flexible working arrangements. According to a study conducted by Mom Corps. Flexibility, 37 percent of Millennials are willing to take a pay-cut from their current salaries if it means that they can work more flexible hours.

In the same light, a report in Time Magazine found that the overwhelming majority of Millennials (81%) feel that they should have control over their work hours. Recent college graduates are finding this difficult to achieve with a traditional 9-5 job, and so many are demonstrating their preference for flexibility by turning to freelance gigs and other self-employment opportunities.

The Surge of Flexible Jobs

The new demand for workplace flexibility is being matched by employers who are beginning to accommodate the needs of Millennials and stay-at-home parents. This is reflected in the fact that over 25 million Americans now telecommute at least once a month. Currently, flexible jobs are growing at a much faster pace than the rest of the economy, indicating that both employers and employees gain from these arrangements.

Employers save a tremendous amount of money on office expenses, while employees reap the benefits of managing their own work schedules. The results are a win-win for all involved: productivity increases, employee satisfaction rises, and the work-life balance is restored.

Resources for Flexible Positions

To accommodate job seekers looking for a telecommuting-friendly positions, a number of online resources and projects have been launched. For example, SkipTheDrive is an online job board dedicated exclusively to positions which can be performed remotely. We have also compiled a list of our favorite companies. If there are other companies that you feel are telecommuter-friendly, please let us know down below.

Why is workplace flexibility so important to you? Would you be willing to accept a flexible job if it meant compromising in a different area?