4 ways to offer the flexibility holiday workers crave

Darrell Jones |
Darrell is Snagajob’s Manager of Content & Copywriting, where he enjoys writing and editing advice that helps workers and businesses align and succeed. His first hourly job was totally chill, bagging ice at an ice cube f-f-f-factory.

In today’s post-pandemic workplace, the mantra of hourly job seekers is clear: Flexibility. Flexibility. Flexibility. 

Right up there with pay, flexibility is what workers covet most in a new job.

In fact, our annual Holiday Hiring Report shows that 62% of hourly workers report “flexible scheduling” as a benefit that would most entice them to take a seasonal job. And 58% report that the availability of a flexible schedule is what they look for first in an online job post.

But as you know, when hiring hourly workers it’s not always possible to provide the flexible schedule they crave. Often these workers are brought in to supplement the schedules of your existing staff, and you have little or no wiggle room in when they work.

Fortunately, scheduling alone is not the only way to provide the freedom job seekers want. Let’s discuss some other ways to provide this all-important flexibility.

4 ways employers can offer flexibility in the workplace

1. Give workers flexibility to be individuals

In a truly flexible workplace, managers allow employees to be themselves. This includes making an effort to accommodate personal styles and needs. This can range from relaxing your dress code to allow workers to come to work in the outfit that’s most comfortable, to encouraging workers to suggest ways to improve their job process. Every workplace is different, so look for out-of-the-box ways to mold your job around workers’ individual needs. 

Also, provide training that allows people to gain new skills in areas of interest. Let them evolve into jobs that best fit their personalities. A full 39% of respondents in our survey report they’re interested in taking a holiday job to add experience and skills to their resume. This suggests that they’re looking for ways to find work that is a better fit for their life and lifestyle.

2. Give workers freedom to rotate roles

Worker burnout can be a real problem, especially with repetitive duties. Consider giving workers the flexibility to switch roles occasionally. Perhaps work a customer-facing job one day, then a behind-the-scenes job the next day? 

You can also offer job sharing among two or more people, allowing them to decide who will take a shift depending on what’s happening outside of work. One person may have childcare issues or an exam to study for, while another is free to work. You can also create an interactive and accessible scheduling system, which allows workers to make decisions about when they work.

3. Give workers freedom of condensed schedules

Not every job needs to be a set number of hours, on a set number of days. One person may be able to tackle the job in 6 hours, while another requires 8 hours. Let people know they can work however long is needed, and then leave to pursue other interests outside of the job. 

And if the person doesn’t need to be at your site to complete all or part of the job, give them the option of working remotely. This gives them the flexibility of a work/life balance as they tackle their jobs while also enjoying other interests. 

4. Give people flexibility of true “gig” work

Consider hiring workers through a “gig” model of work, such as Shifts by Snagajob. Unlike traditional hourly work (which as noted above often comes with a set schedule), workers on our Shifts platform simply claim open shifts when you post an available shift. This gives workers the flexibility to pick and choose which jobs interest them and fit their schedules. 

You also get the advantage of having W-2 workers who are paid by Snagajob, which saves you the step of paying your hourly workers.

Bottom line: Workers want, and deserve, more flexibility

Right now, we’re in the midst of a work revolution. In the past, there was a top-heavy balance of power held by the employer. Now, workers hold the upper hand, although the relationship is trending toward a more equitable agreement.

A flexible approach to hourly employment helps workers achieve an improved work-life balance which, in turn, can increase worker satisfaction and improve overall productivity and morale. Additionally, investing in the worker, and the well-being of their lives, naturally promotes loyalty and engagement which increases retention (ultimately helping you improve your company’s bottom line). 

This solution is rooted in give-and-take. But the rewards are many, as flexible workers are more responsive to a workplace where they feel seen and heard for the well-rounded and busy people they are. 

As workers begin to look for more satisfaction out of jobs as a whole, you’re well-advised to begin to “flex” to their needs. Particularly now, during the rush to hire holiday workers. For proof look no further than our Holiday Hiring Report which shows that 41% of seasonal job seekers are interested in seasonal work that offers a flexible work schedule.

And remember, in your online job posts, be sure to mention the multiple ways you offer flexibility. It is what will catch workers’ eyes.

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PS: For a holiday hiring 2022 deep dive into the Retail, Restaurant, Hotel & Hospitality, or Warehouse & Logistics industries, check out our four industry-specific editions. Plus there’s also our infographic with a quick snapshot of the report’s findings.