As HCM professionals know, one of the main goals of any pro is to achieve high levels of employee retention and productivity for your business. That remains constant. But how do you do it in this changing world of work? The answer is dynamic.
The old method of empowering a productive staff was a rather rigid one. You would open an office, give everyone a desk and mandate that they all come in and work for the same hours – typically Monday to Friday, from 9 to 5. For a previous generation, that worked just fine. Now, though, a new class of employees is rebelling against the old model, demanding something different. In a word, what they demand is flexibility.
According to the Society for Human Resource Management, employers are responding to this demand en masse. The news source pointed to a recent study from Vodafone, which surveyed 8,000 companies worldwide and found that approximately 75 percent of them are introducing policies and/or technology to accommodate other forms of work beyond the 9-to-5 office day.
Sara Sutton Fell, founder and CEO of FlexJobs, told SHRM that this trend is very unlikely to stop anytime soon. This is because it’s largely come in response to a generational shift that’s just getting started.
“Millennials are going to be 75 percent of the workforce in five years, and they have come out loud and clear saying that they want jobs that offer more flexibility, such as remote options and flexible schedules,” Fell said. “There is a real change in the definition of what work means, and companies are really having to look at how to integrate more flexibility into the workplace. Job seekers are demanding it.”
So what’s the big deal about flexibility, anyway? How does it help your office thrive? There are many answers to this question, it turns out. The following are five ways that flexible work options can benefit your organization:
A more productive staff
People will be more motivated to work productively if you give them the autonomy to work in their preferred times and places.Not everyone produces at the same rate, at the same period of time. You may have a team member that gets her best work done later in the day, or someone who works best in the a.m., and receives the added benefit of getting out of the office at 3 pm to pick up his or her child from school.
A more profitable business
More productivity translates naturally to greater profits. If your company’s bottom line is hurting, a more flexible approach to work might be exactly the thing to get back in the black. According to the Vodafone study, 61% of global respondents said their companies’ profits increased when they adopted flexible work policies.
Stronger morale and teamwork
The Vodafone study also found that 77% of U.S. organizations saw moral rise after implementing new policies that allowed for flexible work. Why? Because people will be happier on a daily basis if they have more control of each work day. This will also make it easier for them to collaborate, which only adds further to your company’s productivity and profitability.
Better work/life balance
Happy, healthy employees are those who are content with their entire lives, not just the 40ish hours they spend working each week. Flexible arrangements help with the balance between work and personal life, which in turn should make your staff more capable.
An improved corporate brand
If you have accommodating work policies, people will take notice, and word will spread around the business world. In the long run, the result will be a stronger reputation for your business, and access to more and better job candidates!