With everything that 2020 has thrown at us, many employers are now opting flexible workplace approach. This comes on the heels of “working from home” we all had to experience during the year that passed. And this practice is believed to continue in the year 2021 and beyond as numerous companies have reaped the benefits. According to timedoctor.com, a business management blog, the next wave of workplace flexibility will be about providing flexibility when to work along with where to work. In 2022, there will be a rise of jobs where employees will no longer have to work based on a fixed schedule instead will be assigned a set of tasks/objectives/outputs to achieve.
So what exactly is the Workplace Flexibility we are referring to? It is more than just remote work or work from home. It highlights the willingness of the employer to adapt to the changing needs of the employee. These changes mainly refers to how, when and where the work is done. It is a strategy that you can choose to incorporate into your company and such a workplace is one that is tolerant to all types of flexible working arrangements. It is a smart way to increase employee satisfaction, and if done right, it can help you retain top talent and increase productivity. A study by Manpower Group proved that there are two kinds of workplace flexibility that employees found the most attractive:
· Deciding when they start and end shifts.
· Choosing where they work from.
But flexibility means a lot of things and at the workplace it includes the following as well:
· Flexible scheduling, arrival, and departure times.
· Caregiving leave — particularly for a working parent.
· Work from home or remote work options (full or part-time).
· Compressed workweek or flexible hours.
· Opportunity for career breaks or sabbaticals, including extended leave.
So let’s look at some of the important benefits of workplace flexibility for employees and for employers.
Benefits for Employees
Better Work-Life Balance
Flexible work arrangements can help employees balance out their work-life balance. This is because the otherwise spent time in getting ready for work and commuting can be utilized for starting work earlier or for personal morning routines. They will also have more free time for their family or to focus on hobbies and other interests. Such flexibilities can lead to increased employee satisfaction and morale.
Increased Sense of Control
Employees with the freedom to choose their own timings will also acquire a sense of control over their schedules. This is important because employees can choose to work at the time of day when they are most productive.
Save on Commute
Regardless of whether your employees commute to work by bus, metro or car, due to work from home, your employee can save on travel expenses. If these expenses are covered by the employer, this automatically becomes a benefit for them. Furthermore, it also frees up a few hours in their schedule that would otherwise be spent commuting.
Benefits for Employer
Improved Employee Retention
Greater job satisfaction equates to increased retention. We have already seen how employees find their satisfaction in workplace flexibility. Retaining more experienced employees within your company is an advantage for you because they are already skilled and familiar with the work and industry they are into. Furthermore, this saves you expenses of time and money related to hiring and training new staff.
Greater Employee Productivity
With employee engagement, satisfaction, loyalty and retention increases employee productivity and profitability as well. Flexible timings and remote working means your employee has the option to choose the time and place they can work with greater focus and maximum productivity. All you have to do is provide the right motivation. Absenteeism will not be a problem either as employees will not have to take day-offs in order to run personal errands and they can plan their work around their busy schedules.
Reduced Personal Costs
When remote working is completely and properly implemented for your staff that they do not need to be present in office, you can reduce the amount of office space required. This will help you reduce overhead costs on rental. Other expenses you will save on are utilities such as WiFi, water & electricity and telephone.