Survey of PR professionals shows that flexible working holds the key to employees’ happiness

It is clear that flexibility carries a great deal of weight when professionals look for a new job

A survey carried out by The Works Search, PR and Corporate Communications executive search consultants, highlights how flexible working positively affects not only employee productivity but also their overall levels of happiness and wellbeing.

As part of a wider data analysis of salaries and bonuses of 1,139 corporate communications professionals across Greater London, The Works Search polled 228 corporate communications professionals on a number of topical issues, including what makes them happy in the workplace, what factors are important when choosing a company, and the value they place on flexible working options.

According to the survey, the top three factors that create a happy workforce are opportunities for challenges and responsibility, the calibre of the team, and company culture.

Sarah Leembruggen, Managing Director of The Works Search, says, “I can’t stress enough to my clients how important a great company culture is. I tend to ask them the same three questions: Are you selling the challenges you offer enough?  Are you putting your best people in front of potential employees? And most importantly, are you presenting your company as a great place to work?  More often than not, it’s the work culture that’s the deal breaker.”

Is flexible working the answer?

Having a modern, innovative culture that includes flexible working options can make a company overwhelmingly attractive to new recruits in the competitive Corporate Comms environment.

The Works Search survey revealed that almost 80% of PR professionals would like to be able to work remotely; overall, most respondents think flexibility is extremely important.

It is clear that flexibility carries a great deal of weight when professionals look for a new job. When employees aren’t satisfied with their work-life balance, they feel overwhelmed and overworked, and work and motivation both suffer. If a company doesn’t offer flexible working, employees aren’t able to put their health and personal wellbeing first.

“The implications of being overworked cascade through both careers and personal lives as burnout and stress rise, work output is compromised and relationships are taxed. In short, it’s not good for employees, companies or society”, Leembruggen points out.

It’s no secret that PR and Corporate Communications professionals are overworked; a 10-hour day is often the norm, with some employees across the industry putting in more than 60 hours a week. With PR agencies in particular fighting for talent, as some of their top performers are choosing to move in-house, freelance or leave the industry entirely, introducing flexible working options benefits both employer and employee.

“As an employer, you give the impression that you are a progressive and forward-thinking organisation, willing to listen and accommodate employees’ needs. And employees feel empowered which positively affects productivity and their overall wellbeing,” says Leembruggen.

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