The pandemic accelerated the flexible work culture. Now that businesses have reopened, they are adopting flexible workplace strategies as part of the new normal.
Workplace flexibility does not restrict employees to a set schedule, rather, it enables employees to be active at the times of day when they are most productive.
According to a study, almost 40% of global candidates reported that workplace flexibility is among the top three factors they consider. The first two are work-life balance and salary.
When offices opt for flexible workplace strategies, employee output improves and more work is completed in less time.
To create a sustainable flexible work plan, it is essential to assess how the organization benefits from it.
When employees are not bound to their desks by rigid work hours, their stress level reduces. They become more productive. This is because employees can work in their preferred environment with the least amount of distraction. Like, working in work pods with full concentration or in telephone booths to make private telephone calls.
Also, when employees don’t have to commute to the work location five days a week, they can use that time to be more productive.
According to a Gartner Survey, 43% of respondents said that flexible working hours helped them achieve more productivity. 30% of those surveyed said that less or no time commuting allowed them to be more productive.
Flexible work schedules mean that employees can still stay close to their near and dear ones. They also get enough time to perform activities like attending yoga sessions, going to the gym, meditating, etc.
A study was conducted where some employees were randomly given work schedules that offered lots of flexibility while others were given business-as-usual schedules. The employees who were offered more flexibility fared better not only at work but also at home. This was because the employees were happy with flexible work as it offered them a good work-life balance.
Organizations can cut unnecessary costs by employing flexible work strategies like hot-desking. There is a cost involved in keeping an employee at his/her desk like internet usage charges, utility charges like electricity bills, etc.
Office expenses are significantly reduced when employees work in the office for limited hours. Organizations can also reduce real estate costs simply by cutting down on individual office spaces and utilizing a shared or co-working environment.
Implementing flexible strategies in the office is important to save time and money. It is also known to be the best way to increase the headcount without the need for a larger office space.
A survey reveals that, on average, companies are reducing their office space by 30%. This doesn’t just mean that overhead costs will be less. It also makes for a quieter office, which has its perks.
A customer of ours decided to have create a dedicated marketing department that they didn’t have previously. This meant hiring 10 marketing executives. The company originally had an office strength of 40 people, who were each assigned a desk. So, the company had 40 desks. But now that they had 50 employees where will the 10 new members sit?
The company adopted flexible work where 25 employees will work from the office thrice a week and the remaining 25 will work from the office twice a week. With hot desking, the employees could share desks and no additional desk space was required.
A company is as good as its employees. Some companies believe in a ‘hire and fire’ policy but the best ones know the value of their staff and are willing to hold on to them.
When flexible workplace strategies are in place, employees are more satisfied. This reduces the chance of them seeking jobs elsewhere.
A survey revealed that 80% of respondents said they’d be more loyal to their employer if they provide flexible working arrangements.
Thus, by offering a flexible workplace, organizations can reduce employee turnover and save themselves from the added costs of regular recruitment.
Even if employees are working some days of the week from the office and the rest of the weekdays from home, it significantly improves employees’ satisfaction with their workplace, making them more likely to remain with their current employer.
During the pandemic, employees worked from home. This caused the line between work and personal life to become blurred. Many employees were unable to take the extra pressure of work causing the great resignation.
Flexible workplace provides the necessary flexibility and comfort for staff to work from home and come to office when they feel the need. Employees have the power to choose where they want to work. When organizations adopt a flexible workplace, employee retension increases.
Increasing Employee Engagement
One of the biggest reasons for offices to adopt flexible workplace strategies is to enhance employee engagement. According to a Gallop study, flexible work drives employee engagement. With flexible schedules, employees are motivated to give their best. This is not possible with long office hours that grind them.
When an MNC adopted flexible workplace strategies, its employees felt safe and valued. This particularly helped Emily, an employee, whose 10-year-old daughter was suffering from dyslexia and Emily needed to spend more time caring for her. With flexible work schedules, Emily could take good care of her family and yet she could focus on her work when it required her to do so.
Usually, engaged employees have more energy and better physical & mental health.
We must remember that human beings are social creatures. When organizations add recreational areas in the design of their workspace, it provides employees with an opportunity to chit-chat with one another.
Also, collaborative workspaces in the office allow employees to engage with one another and talk about work. After all, it’s all about teamwork. Most importantly when employees are happy, the quality of work improves.
Better Corporate Branding to Attract Talent
With the end of the pandemic in sight, some organizations are calling their employees back to the office. On-site work is replacing remote work.
However, many people are not ready to go back to the workplace in the way they used to earlier. They prefer flexible work, where they can work alone from the comfort of their home and come to the office when they need to collaborate.
Organizations adopting flexible work will be more sought after as employers. While recruiting, they will also have access to a wider pool of talent to choose from. So, if organizations want to attract and retain top talent in this competitive environment, they need to embrace flexible work strategies.
When an IT company advertised that it offers flexible work, not only did the company receive more job applications but also got a wider and more diverse talent pool of skilled workers to choose from. This was because applicants realized that the company puts its people first and accommodates their need for flexibility and choice.
It’s time for organizations to consider flexible workplace strategies. Employees will benefit from the flexibility offered and employers will enjoy reduced operating costs and increased profits. So, flexible work is a win-win for both.