In the world of warehouse labor, employers and employees alike are seeking flexibility of scheduling and job duties, says Mike Bohnett, vice president of partnerships with Instawork.
The demand for warehouse labor is constant, and becoming increasingly difficult to satisfy, Bohnett says. With the pandemic having uprooted old assumptions about labor, workers today are seeking flexibility and balance in their lives. The labor market consists of everything from those seeking full-time employment to college students seeking part-time work, and others juggling multiple jobs. Many white-collar workers are insisting on continuing to work from home, or at least combine remote work with onsite responsibilities. Employers need to figure out how to incorporate all of those expectations into efficient working environments.
Bohnett, whose company recently won the “Pitch Tank” competition sponsored by Supply Chain Leaders in Action (SCLA), says a recent study of warehouse labor found that one in six individuals over the past few years have used an app-based tool to earn a secondary income. And around 67% of workers are demanding greater flexibility in their schedules.
Today’s labor force “has more choice than in the past,” Bohnett says. “They recognize that it’s difficult to run their lives on a fixed schedule.” In response, employers must offer a wider array of options for this varied talent pool.
The situation will only grow more complex with the arrival of the peak season. Some warehouses will struggle to meet the needs of their customers. “They need to evolve the way they think about accessing labor if they want to stay relevant in the coming years,” Bohnett says.
“I think flexibility is here to say,” he adds.
Timely, incisive articles delivered directly to your inbox.