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These Are the Reasons Workers Switch From Large to Small Businesses, Data Shows

By Maurie Backman - Oct 13, 2019 at 11:36AM

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Sometimes, it pays to think small.

Of the various factors that motivate employees to switch jobs, money is no doubt a big one. And when we think about where the opportunities for more money lie, we tend to land on large-scale companies with the resources to pay their employees the big bucks. But money isn't the only reason to change jobs, and new data from Paychex reveals that many of today's workers want to switch from large companies to smaller ones to reap certain benefits.

A good 40% of baby boomers looking to make a switch would like their next employer to be a small business; 27% of Gen Xers and 26% of millennials feel the same. And here are the top reasons why.

Professionally dressed woman at a table with other professionally dressed adults turning and smiling while typing on laptop

IMAGE SOURCE: GETTY IMAGES.

1. Work-life balance

Many employees these days struggle to achieve a good work-life balance, but apparently, job-hunters are confident they'll get it at a smaller company. Small business owners tend to understand the challenges of establishing that balance, so they may be more apt to aid employees in striking it, or offer firsthand advice on how to do so.

2. Flexibility

Flexibility and work-life balance tend to go hand-in-hand. Small businesses are often able or willing to grant workers flexibility on a case-by-case basis. Large companies, on the other hand, often feel compelled to set uniform policies because they're dealing with thousands of employees, and they can't afford to make exceptions.

3. Scheduling

Because small businesses tend to have fewer employees, they can sometimes more easily let those workers put their heads together to arrange a schedule that works for them. You may find that your hours improve when you jump from a company with thousands of employees to a smaller operation.

4. Culture

Workplace culture tends to tie directly into employee satisfaction. Small businesses in particular are invested in company culture because in their world, reputation is everything. And because small business owners and managers are often hands-on, it lends to a culture that's open, collaborative, and respectful of everyone who contributes to larger goals.

5. Opportunity for more rewarding work

When you work for a larger company, it's easy to get lost in the shuffle. On the other hand, when you accept a job at a small business, you often get to carve out opportunities for yourself as you go. The result? Work that's more fulfilling and engaging, which can lead to better overall satisfaction.

If your primary goal in switching jobs is to boost your salary, or to score the most extensive workplace benefits package possible, then sticking with or moving to a large company may be your best bet. But if you're looking to reap the above benefits, it pays to include smaller businesses in your job search. Remember, while there's plenty to be gained by earning more money, given the amount of time most employees spend working these days, there's something to be said for being happier about the job you do and the environment you do it in. And in this regard, small businesses might truly have the edge over their larger counterparts.

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