Flexibility, autonomy just as important as remuneration for some job seekers, according to a researcher

Ohio Marks Jobs in Demand Week until May 6. What will it take to fill the more than 200 occupations that make up these in-demand jobs? Professors at Ohio State University are taking a closer look at the question.

From a job seeker’s perspective, a variety of factors other than salary can make a potential position attractive, according to research presented by College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CFAES).

In a May 4 virtual presentation, “More than a salary,” Margaret Jodlowski, assistant professor of agricultural and economic policy, Margaret Jodlowskidiscussed employment trends that have emerged since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. “More Than a Paycheck” was part of CFAES’ Spring Economic Outlook and Policy Series.

While salary is often the top attribute considered by job seekers, other conveniences such as flexible work hours and the ability to work remotely have taken on increasing value, Jodlowski said.

“We talk a lot about attracting workers to a job, but once a worker is in a job, what matters most for retention are those other amenities,” she said. “Those other conveniences are what keep people around. So once you kick them out, what makes them stay is often those non-wage amenities.

Autonomy is a convenience that workers rate highly in surveys, Jodlowski said.

“The ability to work independently and direct yourself in your day-to-day work habits, as opposed to just having a to-do list for your boss to complete – basically more independence versus less independence” is a sought-after asset, she said. “Having more independence at work was significantly associated with an increase in salary, and was indeed associated with a 3.8% salary increase.”

Independence can come in the form of solo work rather than group projects, Jodlowski said.

“Working alone (rather than) working in a team was associated with an 8.4% increase in salary,” she said. “One of the largest equivalent wages we’ve seen in terms of working conditions actually comes from working alone versus working in a group.”

Even when assigned to teams, workers tend to prefer to be assessed on their individual merits, Jodlowski said.

“They don’t like to feel like you’re all (grouped) together, and if one person is doing badly, the team is doing badly,” she said. “Being able to be assessed individually is something that workers really appreciate, more than just working alone.”

Employer-provided health benefits and paid sick leave are among the amenities cited as favorable most often by workers, Jodlowski said. She cited research indicating that Ohio is a leading state when it comes to employer-provided health benefits for farm workers.

“Ohio seems to be doing much better in terms of providing this equipment to its farm workers than the national average,” she said.

Childcare is also an important amenity cited by workers, especially women, Jodlowski said.

“There is currently a shock or employment gap in child care that has significant supply chain ramifications,” she said.

The research also shows gender differences in who decides to switch jobs so they can work remotely, Jodlowski said.

“The differences between why you change jobs are about the same between men and women,” she said. “The only one that is significantly different is wanting to work remotely. Women are much more likely to want this.

Generational differences have also emerged in the workforce since 2020, with the onset of the pandemic coinciding with older members of Gen Z graduating from college and starting their careers, Jodlowski said.

“As they enter the workforce, we see a different approach and also a generational approach to how they view employment, and that has significant contributors to quit rates,” she said. declared. “The disruption of the pandemic has really reduced the cost of changing jobs. So much was changing that it seems less expensive now to just completely change jobs because of all the disruptions that are happening in the world at large.

the final presentation in the Spring Economic Outlook and Policy Series will take place on June 1 at noon and will explore how energy market trends will affect inflation over the next six to 12 months.

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