Workplace flexibility is a hot topic among business owners and employees alike. More and more employers are recognizing that in order to recruit the best employee talent, they need to cater to the whole individual. This means understanding that employees have wants, needs and passions outside of the workplace that also take up their time. Businesses are finding that flexible work arrangements (or mindsets) are helping their business grow.
A recent article from Inc. includes some interesting statistics from a study by Vodafone. They found that:
- 83% of companies that had flexible work policies saw an improvement in productivity
- 58% believed flexibility practices improved the company’s reputation
- 61% saw an improvement in teamwork and 77% saw an improvement in employee morale
We’ve heard business owners say many times that flexible work arrangements won’t work for their business or their industry. That is usually not the case. Often business owners aren’t thinking outside the box. Flexible working arrangements can come in many forms. It does not just include working from home. Here are some examples:
- Employees working in one department may be able to stagger their start and end times to better meet their needs. Perhaps you have one employee who would prefer to come in at 9:00am, so they can see their kids off to school, while another would prefer to be in at 7:00am, so they can leave earlier and attend a favorite fitness class at their gym.
- You may have an employee who would like to work from home one day per week, to better accommodate her child-care needs.
- There may be employees who would prefer to both come in earlier and leave later in order to avoid traffic and have a shortened day on Friday as a result.
Encourage open communication with leaders and employees about schedules and flexible work arrangements. Make them feel comfortable to come to you with suggestions that would better fit their life.
Having a flexible work policy does not mean that you lower performance or productivity standards. If you hire great people set appropriate expectations, and trust that performance will not suffer. Companies that refuse to embrace flexible work will soon be left in the dust by companies that choose to make it a priority. If you need help finding ways to embrace flexible work arrangement in your organization contact an HR Advisor.