A rising number of city professionals are willing to take a pay cut to work more flexibly, according to new research.
The research, conducted by leading recruiting expert, Hays Financial Markets, found that 41 per cent of city professionals would take a cut in wages for more flexible options as many of focus on achieving a better work-life balance.
The Hays Financial Markets Reward Report 2018, based on a survey of over 650 employers and employees in financial markets, showed that pressure on salaries in the city remains high as over two-fifths of employers have lost out of candidates in the last year because their salary and benefits package was not competitive enough.
However, close to half of professionals working in financial markets said they would take a lower salary to accomodate a better work-life balance, compared to 38 per cent who said this in 2017 and 29 per cent in 2016.
The research also revealed that women are more willing than men to take a pay cut for more flexible working at 45 per cent compared to 38 per cent.
When searching for a new role, over a quarter of City staff will prioritise flexible working, with home or remote working and flexi-time cited as the most desired options. In a clear shift of importance, home and remote working has seen a significant increase in popularity, rising from 69 per cent in 2016.
Positively, as employees desire to strike a better balance between home and work, the majority of employers are increasingly aware of the importance of flexible working.
Four out of five employers believe flexible working is important for attracting new talent compared to just under three-quarters last year. Employers are also recognising the value of flexible working in retaing talnt, as over half of employers think flexible working helps with both attraction and retention of talent – an increase from 36 per cent last year.
Speaking about the research, Tom Hawkins, Director of Hays Financial Markets, said, “As over two-fifths of employers tell us they have lost out on candidates because of their salary or benefits package, employers need to review their overall offering to take into account the importance professionals in the City are placing on flexible working.”
“It’s encoraging to see that more employers are aware of the benefits flexible working can have towards both attracting and retaining staff, and in order to keep up this momentum employers should review how they are communicating flexible working options to current and perspective staff to encourage awareness.”