Spurred by public health safety precautions taken in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, workplace flexibility has grown immensely as more business leaders realize the benefits for their employees and their bottom line. In the early days of the pandemic, companies adopted work practices as a necessity. More recently, the value of flexible work has increased significantly among employees.
Business owners are meeting the ever-changing needs of their workers with creative ways to add greater flexibility. How important is workplace flexibility? In a Gartner 2021 Digital Worker Experience survey, 43 percent of respondents said that flexible working hours helped them achieve more productivity.
According to a Gallup study, flexible work also heightens employee engagement. Engaged workers are more enthusiastic and have better physical health. Gallop research has shown over the years that when employees are engaged, their performance skyrockets.
In this blog space, we will explore how workplace flexibility is important to the success of businesses and organizations in today’s marketplace.
Perhaps the most common change in the workforce is employees working away from the office. Remote work has become important to businesses as it enables employees to work at home and get more accomplished in the process. This arrangement also allows for a better work-life balance for employees.
Remote work seems to be having a positive effect on productivity. In a survey conducted by Airtasker, remote employees worked 1.4 more days every month or 16.8 more days in a year.
Part-Time & Reduced Hours
Another example of workplace flexibility is allowing employees to work part-time or have reduced hours. This enables these workers to address personal emergencies better or navigate major life changes.
These workers reward their bosses with enhanced productivity and display more loyalty to the company. Business owners also report increased job satisfaction among their employees who work fewer hours in the work week.
At a time when commuting to and from work is more of a burden than ever – with lost productivity, in some cases, negatively impacting a company’s bottom line – it pays to offer telecommuting to employees. With telecommuting, there is no lost time, as there is when workers find themselves having to recover and reset their minds on work after a long and exhausting drive into the office.
It is more common these days for workers to favor working from home or at a coworking space. With the use of video conferencing software and project management tools, employers can run their large or small companies from afar. These tools reduce the need to have all staff at the office.
Workplace flexibility is extremely important, and one of the most popular forms of flexibility is job sharing. In this flexible approach, job sharing involves two employees sharing a job that would normally be considered a full-time position for one employee. This creates two part-time positions.
This flexible work arrangement appeals to workers who want to reduce their hours to provide care for someone at home, for example. Sometimes an employee is simply looking for a lighter workload without quitting their job.
The success of job sharing is based on clear channels of communication between the employees who undertake a job share.
Employers embrace job sharing opportunities because it benefits them in the following two ways:
- A wider, mixed skill-set and a complementary combination of experience and approach.
- A more relaxed, satisfied, and happy workforce – potentially leading to greater productivity and reduced absenteeism.
Compressed Work Week
As there continues to be a heightened awareness among today’s workforce of a healthy work-life balance, employers are meeting this need with workplace flexibility – in the form of a compressed work week. A compressed, or condensed schedule, fits the same amount of work over a shorter amount of time.
This might look like a three-day or four-day work week, which gives the employee an additional day or two off during the week. One common reason employers prefer this type of workplace flexibility is that it allows for an extended three-day weekend rather than two days off.
A compressed work schedule rewards workers with time off during the week, so they can tend to personal tasks or spend more time with their families. It also gives employees greater control as they shape their work schedules around their personal needs and responsibilities.
Workplace Flexibility Makes Sense for Businesses
Business leaders are becoming more aware and appreciative of how workplace flexibility increases employee productivity and engagement. They understand that when their workers have greater autonomy to create a schedule that benefits their mental and physical health, their output significantly improves.
When it comes down to it, workplace flexibility can strengthen a business’s bottom line.
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