Flexibility is the future

4353519405_f82ba3738f_oIn just five years’ time most of the UK and Irish workforce will be working flexibly, according to a survey of HR decision makers.

The Flux Report, published today by talent management specialist Right Management, said 79% of HR decision makers expect employees to have multiple simultaneous careers by 2018 and 60% expect workers to be on temporary contracts or working flexibly as contractors or freelancers.

The ageing population will drastically change the workforce, says the report, with 92% of those surveyed expecting employees to opt for part-time work rather than retirement.

It adds that having a truly flexible and resilient workforce will require investment in staff development and is expected to accelerate new ways of working. By 2018, 71% of HR managers believe work will simply be done anytime and anywhere, based entirely on individual needs, and nearly half (49%) expect holographic telepresence meetings.

Ian Symes, general manager at Right Management UK & Ireland, said the way we work is fundamentally changing. “Office hours are becoming blurred, people are having to learn more and develop faster than ever before and workers are expected to juggle a number of roles both at work and at home. And all of this is happening in an increasingly unpredictable business environment.”

He added that workers are feeling “overwhelmed, unsupported and unclear on their future direction”, and said businesses need to put people at the heart of their plans and provide their employees with the support, they need.

The report surveyed 250 line managers and 100 HR decision makers in organisations with more than 500 employees.

Symes added: “Organisations need to strategically plan their workforce and look at the systems they have in place to support employees and the business through turbulent times. Without this, they will always be reacting to what is happening rather than being in control. This will only add to the stress and exhaustion that many staff are feeling so it’s important that businesses look at ways to boost the resilience of their organisation and their people. Planning ahead and being flexible are central to making this a reality.”

Image credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/rhinoneal/

Categories: News, Survey

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