Workers of all ages have a new appreciation for company stability when making career decisions, suggests a new study from Robert Half.

Yet, for many, getting to firmer ground may entail a career change: Four out of 10 professionals polled said they are more inclined to look for new opportunities outside their firms as a result of the recession.

“Many employees, particularly Gen Y professionals, are biding their time in their current employment situations and plan to make a move when they feel the economy is on firmer footing,” says Brett Good, a Robert Half International district president. “Now is the time for employers to take action and outline career paths within their company for strong performers. Compensation reviews also should be conducted to ensure that pay is competitive.”

What wasn’t mentioned in the survey was how flex work arrangements could impact recruiting. I would bet that Gen Y professionals would be especially open to companies promising work-from home days where they could rely on virtual office technologies to keep in touch with the office and with clients. Gen Y grew up with the Internet and other technologies, so the chance to tap into virtual office space to maximize the productivity and find greater work-life balance would be a natural benefit to offer.

Virtual office space can help companies reduce overhead, while also helping recruiters attract the best and brightest of Gen Y. With a virtual office, Gen Y workers can have their client calls seamlessly forward to any number, including home office, mobile phone or some other temporary location. Virtual offices technologies also make it possible for Gen Y workers to continue having meetings with employees working from the company headquarters. Cisco WebEx is a good example of how virtual office technologies are saving businesses time and money, and offering greater flexibility.

Despite the recession, the economy is recovering in some areas. Some businesses are hiring—and not just any worker will do. In the medical devices industry in Cincinnati, Ohio, for example, companies can’t find workers with the right skills to fill the jobs they have open. I would imagine the same holds true in other industries. While virtual offices and manufacturing aren’t compatible, the point is that the next generation of skilled workers is open to technologies, and virtual offices play into that trend.

Check out this video on how Gen Y thinks. It's eye-opening: