A flexible workplace is exactly what it sounds like; an employer that considers the needs of employees outside of their job.
This might mean that workers have the ability to work from home, adjust schedules if needed and be able to work from anywhere.
The Future of Working Report 2022, conducted by Oak Engage, asked employees, “‘What type of working pattern would you most like your business to adopt?’
35.3% of respondents said they’d prefer flexible working hours.
It’s important for managers to consider what flexible adjustments might be able to be made to support staff who need to combine work with other responsibilities.
But first, let’s look at the ways flexible working can improve employee engagement and output for your business.
Improved Employee Satisfaction
So how does flexible working improve employee satisfaction?
Studies show that working in a flexible environment is essential to creating satisfaction in the workplace. In fact, employees that are satisfied with their job are more productive and more likely to stick around in the long run.
However, it’s important to understand that flexibility alone is unable to achieve complete job satisfaction.
Working out the perfect balance of workplace qualities is sure to lead to better flexibility and ultimately, a better sense of job satisfaction.
Recommended Reading 📖: What is Employee Satisfaction and How Can You Measure it?
Decrease in Employee Turnover
Did you know that nearly half of employees would consider leaving their job if their employer did not offer flexible working?
A poll of 1,000 UK workers, conducted by EY as part of its 2021 Work Reimagined Employee Survey, found that four in five wanted flexibility where they worked, and 47 per cent went as far as to say they would consider changing their jobs if flexible working wasn’t an option.
When asked about what sort of flexibility employees wanted, 39 per cent said they would like more choice in when they work, and 43 per cent wanted choice in where they worked.
In our Future of Working Report, we interviewed Aoife O’Brien, Employee Engagement & Retention Expert and Podcast Host. She said, “Companies that are offering some sort of remote working or hybrid working option are faring the best in this difficult situation - this will be the future of office-based work.”
Ultimately, employers who give up some control of work schedules see an increase in employee morale, engagement and retention in their organisation
Companies that can retain employees experience up to 4x their profits. Not only are profits impacted but the cost of replacing employees can be astounding, with turnover costs of executives being as high as 213%.
Want to see turnover costs in your organisation? Download your very own calculator here.
Career Development Opportunities
There are many different theories about how to maintain a good work/life balance - but few people realise that flexible working can actually boost your career development.
In fact, a Guardian survey found that respondents who make use of flexible working arrangements are also significantly more likely to report having had two or more promotions over the past five years than those that do not (33% against 24%, respectively).
Not sure where to start with implementing flexible working arrangements in your workplace? We’ve put together a guide on everything you need to know!
Recommended Reading 📖: Hybrid Working Model: A Guide for the Workplace
Heightened Concentration & Productivity
Flexible working can help many aspects of a business, one of the most important aspects is productivity.
In the Gartner 2021 Digital Worker Experience Survey, 43% of respondents said that flexible working hours helped them achieve more productivity, and 30% of those surveyed said that less or no time commuting allowed them to be more productive.
And here's why..
⭐️ Flexible Working Allows Employees to Work More
Flexible working arrangements allow employees to work more during the hours they are most productive.
According to Lindsay Mustain, ex-Amazon recruiter,
“ Employees have been statistically proven to be more efficient when provided the opportunity to independently work when, how and as much as they like. Flexible options increase both productivity and the time an employee spends working. Remote workers put in more hours than their office counterparts and are even more effective than in traditional office settings with constant distractions and interruptions.”
⭐️ Flexibility Increases Engagement
According to a Gallup study, flexible work also drives employee engagement.
Engaged employees are more enthusiastic, and energetic and have better physical health. And, as decades of Gallup research shows, when employees are engaged, their performance soars.
⭐️ Flexible Work Reduces Turnover
Allowing employees to work flexible schedules can help retain valuable staff. Without a doubt, flexibility is one of the most important perks workers want from their employers.
And that’s right, you guessed it!
When your workforce is engaged, productivity increases.
Reduces Employee Absences
Introducing flexible working can certainly reduce absenteeism in the workplace.
It demonstrates to an employee that their employer respects their personal lives in relation to their job and that individuals work most efficiently in different ways.
Recommended Reading 📖: Absenteeism in the Workplace: Causes & How To Fix It
Offering staff flexible working options, or at least having a proactive flexible working policy, has an overwhelmingly positive effect on recruitment and retention.
There’s a real opportunity here for forward-looking employers to offer potential candidates the flexibility they want – and reap the rewards.
Not sure where to start? Download your HR onboarding checklist to never miss a step.
With the pandemic bringing about huge changes in the way we now work, do you think flexible working is here to stay?