Why You Should Be Offering Employees Flexible Working Options
“The measure of intelligence is the ability to change.” ― Albert Einstein
Over the course of the last year, many employees (and employers themselves) had to make the somewhat drastic change to working-from-home due to restrictions imposed by Covid-19.
A significant adjustment for most people was getting into new routines, which may or may not have included home-schooling the children. And what may have been the biggest shock was that many businesses continued to tick along as usual, with some even thriving under the changed circumstances and flexible working options.
But as restrictions slowly ease up around the world and companies begin to return to the confines of an office, many employees are starting to long for the familiarity and flexibility that working from home gave them.
With the world around us continue to evolve rapidly, we thought it best to put together some reasons why you should be considering flexible working options for the long run.
Who doesn’t want to save money? Even if your business structure requires employees to make an appearance at the office on occasion, by implementing a hot-desk system, you could either move into smaller office premises or expand your team without the need of moving to larger premises.
A hot desk system means that employees don’t have a designated desk. Instead, there are communal desks. And, when employees need to be in the office on a specific day, they can set up at one of these spaces.
If half your workforce is in the office on particular days, you’ve reduced the office space requirements by 50%. A study by Global Workplace Analytics found that by allowing employees to work remotely a typical employer can save an average of $11,000 per half-time telecommuter per year. Use this handy calculator to estimate how much your company could save.
Improve employee satisfaction and productivity
Staff turnover is expensive to overcome, but one way to prevent your best employees from leaving is to offer flexible working hours.
Research shows that people looking for new jobs value flexible working hours even over the status of their title. Responding to a Deloitte survey, one out of three professionals said that nothing would keep them from taking advantage of workplace flexibility. However, nearly 30 percent say potential consequences to their professional growth and lack of trust from leadership would prevent them from using flexible work options offered.
By not only allowing but encouraging your employees to work when they work best and trusting them to get work done regardless, satisfaction levels will peak, and turnover rates will plummet. The same Deloitte survey found that 52 percent of professionals say the CEO or management has the greatest impact on advancing flexibility within their organization - it’s up to you to lead the way..
By offering the flexibility to either work from home or less regular hours, not only will you be retaining the talent you already have but your brand will also become more attractive to potential new talent. An Ernst & Young global survey discovered that more flexibility was the most crucial perk for 9,700 full-time respondents in eight of the world's largest economies: the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, Brazil, Mexico, India, China and Japan.
It’s also an avenue for increasing diversity in the workplace. With the ability to work remotely, you’re opening your business to the possibility of a broader spectrum of talent. A diverse workforce is said to be more productive and creative, with the consensus that you can also reach more potential clients.
The world and how we work in it will continue to evolve with increasing velocity. The companies left behind, stuck in their ways and unwilling to compromise, simply won’t be able to adapt to the inevitable and imminent change charging toward them. Flexibility is key!
“We like to give people the freedom to work where they want, safe in the knowledge that they have the drive and expertise to perform excellently, whether they [are] at their desk or in their kitchen. Yours truly has never worked out of an office, and never will.” ― Richard Branson