What are we really seeking from our jobs?
Everywhere I look lately there’s a post about flexible working, a 4-day week or simply just news about what employees are looking for in their jobs. Having changed my career path not too long ago I’m always interested to hear what other people seek from their current positions and what intrigues them into making a move.
Throughout the years, employees’ desires and demands have evolved, leaving many challenges for companies. Balance careers suggest that companies who have engaging and productive workplaces are more likely to have staff who love their jobs. They say that employees should offer fair compensation and benefits and set clear expectations and goals. They also explain that to gain the most out of your work environment, you should determine your expectations. I did a little searching around to find out what the nations’ expectations really are; salary (obviously) came up first followed by work life balance, flexible working, career development and location. This contradicts a recent survey conducted by our sister company Fellows and Associates who found that most people were more interested in flexible working than salary.
The number of employers who are referencing flexible working as a selling point for their business is becoming more prevalent. This must be due to the number of candidates who admit that flexible working is one of the most important factors when searching for in a new job. Totaljobs investigated further and found that, from a survey of 4,000 candidates, 66% of employers now offer flexible working of some kind, 74% offer part-time work while 65% offer the option to work from home. Although many companies are recognising what candidates desire, most ask employees to put together an application to request flexible working within their company. While employees have the right to ask for part time working arrangements or flexible hours, employers are able to refuse the request based on how it could adversely affect the company.
While researching for this article I also came across many other factors which are considered by candidates when searching for their perfect job. These include job satisfaction, mutual respect and a great work environment. These are the values I have always been aware of; I would have said I was looking for something along these lines at some point in my career so far too. It seems that times are changing though and it’s possible that employees are becoming harder to please. I question whether this is how the conversation about flexible working and a 4-day week has begun; the more hype generated, the more that employees expect from their employment. It could be argued that we are a nation who want what our friends have, we feel that we deserve more from our jobs based on what our peers are receiving. With this being said, Totaljobs conducted another survey researching what employers thought to the change in the job market. They found that 42% thought that jobseekers are becoming pickier and 39% thought that recruitment is more candidate led, I’m swaying more towards the pickier option (although they’re not mutually exclusive). What do you think?
So, although there are many factors which build into a perfect job. I wanted to base this article mostly on the benefits that employees are asking for in the current market. My original question was; what do we really want from our jobs? While writing this article though, I thought of a few more questions… Is it enough just being happy at work? Are we looking for a good salary and to be happy? Or do we want something much more than that? Are we expecting a salary which will raise every year as well as to be happy, enjoy our work environment, work from home twice a week with hours chosen by ourselves and be respected by our bosses? It begs the question; will that be enough for us if the market changes again in the future? Will we be discussing a 2-day working week in 10 years’ time?
I’d love to hear your thoughts!