Work-life balance is now on par with pay and benefits for hospitality workers, according to a recent survey by flexible recruitment platform Limber.

Over 50% of recipients surveyed picked these two factors as having the most influence over the job they choose. ‘Fun and enjoyment’ was also an important factor, suggesting modern hospitality workers think well beyond pay, according to Limber.

One in four employees stated the ability to work flexibly is more important since the pandemic, while a significant number cited the ability to flex work timings around their changed needs. Sixty per cent of employees wanted the chance to work additional hours, 43% wanted the opportunity to pick up extra shifts last minute, and 43% wanted the ability to switch hours easily.

However, 60% of respondents felt working hours in the industry are not flexible, albeit 47% appreciated flexibility in the locations they work at as well as the opportunity to work multiple roles.

The research also indicates benefits to employers, with flexible working enhancing motivation in the workplace, encouraging employees to pick up more shifts, and helping prevent understaffing.

Chris Sanderson, founder of Limber, said: “Many businesses have found that flexibility forms a key part of the future of work and people thrive in an environment where they are able to adapt their work to their needs, with our research emphasising this. Embracing this new way of hiring brings some really difficult challenges for operators. Not least the increased administrative impact of employing people on a flexible basis, but there are also some understandable concerns to think about, such as how to build a functioning rota with flexible staff.

“However, it is not a want but a need, with the trend for flexible working only set to continue. We have seen over 46,000 new workers join limber since Pandemic restrictions eased, with numbers growing each day. And the benefits for operators are clear - through accessing a wider talent pool through flexible working, operators will fundamentally be able to appeal to a far broader selection of people and therefore make better use of their talent by building their network. This will help operators build a more liquid workforce, which in turn will help with reactive hiring, such as managing leavers, holiday requests or seasonality.

“The world is going to become more flexible rather than less, but flexible teams, deployed properly can be a massive asset to any operator”.