FLEXIBILITY AND WORK-LIFE BALANCE: SPANISH EMPLOYEES’ DEMANDS ON COMPANIES
Work-life balance and work flexibility have become one of the main tools for attracting and retaining talent in Spain. It is true that most employees are demanding more flexibility in order to favour work-life balance and improve their commitment to the company. Intensive working hours or allowances for meals, nursery school fees or transport are some of the aspects that are essential for workers.
In addition, teleworking is another of the main aspects that has been most demanded. It has gone from being a residual way of working to becoming, in just two years, an indispensable requirement in terms of work-life balance. We are living in a period in which there is a new commitment to being in the office, but up to nine out of ten employees prefer to telework.
It is interesting to observe the list of preferences in this area if we compare by gender. For women, work-life balance is only one point below salary in their list of priorities (70% and 69%), while for men the gap is wider (66% and 60%). Similarly, the fact that the company offers its employees the possibility to telework is much more important for women (46%) than for men (39%).
Teleworking is one of the formulas included in flexible working, but there are also other measures. The main demands, in addition to flexible working, which we have already mentioned (45%), include offering other benefits to employees (34%) and fair pay protection and compensation for their work (32%). Childcare is ranked sixth (26%), with similar importance to the provision of welfare and mental health resources (26%).
If we talk about the working environment, the employees who attach the greatest importance to this issue are those in the 35-54 age range, ahead of even the youngest profiles. Often, human resources managers do not take these issues as one of the keys for employees to choose their company to work for.
In terms of leaders, almost half of the employees prefer a results-oriented leader, i.e. one who provides concrete guidelines on how to get the job done, but who gives them the confidence and freedom to do it. This is related to employees’ preference for autonomy, responsibility and flexibility at work.
Therefore, the possibility of reconciling professional and personal life has become an aspect that professionals continue to demand from companies.