Smart companies are getting staff by getting flexible, according to Kerry Fallon Horgan.
Current skills shortages, combined with globalization, technological advances, an ageing workforce, new workplace values of Gen X and Y's and diversity in the workplace have all "upped the stakes" as employers scramble for an increasingly scarce resource: people.
The key for many lies in becoming "Employers of Choice", organisations that are able to attract and retain skilled staff often because they have established a workplace culture that supports flexible work practices.
There are real bottom-line incentives to do so including increased productivity, better customer service, enhanced legal compliance, improved morale, reduced absenteeism, greater overall effectiveness, and an ability to adapt readily to market changes.
There's also that very profitable, but less concise notion of "discretionary effort" - where workers go that extra mile because they believe that employers are doing the right thing by them.
So what flexible practices do employees want?