In the past, asking for flexibility in the workplace was taken on a case-by-case basis. Someone might arrange to leave early on a certain day of the week to pick up their kids from school, or someone might work remotely on certain days of the week. However, importance of flexibility was the exception; not all employers would allow this.
Since the pandemic changed the way that we work in 2020, flexibility has become a crucial part of working. Employees want to continue having more flexibility in the workplace, not return to how things were before the pandemic, which is why it is crucial for employers to adapt and offer more Importance of flexibility. That is why, in this article, we will look more closely at the importance of flexibility in the workplace.
Why Businesses Need To Be More Flexible
When employees transitioned to working from home during the pandemic, many realized a few key things. Some realized that they did not like their commute. Others realized they were saving a lot of money by working from home, both from saving gas and not eating out as much. Many also realized they were a lot more productive.
Part of the reason that millions of people left their jobs during The Great Resignation between April 2021 and April 2022 is because their employers wanted them to return to pre-COVID working conditions, and they genuinely did not want to return to an inflexible job where they did not feel valued as employees. Many people wanted to continue working from home, and they wanted more flexible options for working. In fact, one study in 2021 found that 64 percent of people surveyed would rather be able to work from home permanently than take a $30,000 pay raise.
With those opinions in mind, it is more important than ever that employers adopt a flexible mindset for their employees for the sake of employee retention.
What Is flexibility In The workplace?
In the workplace, offering flexibility means being willing to adjust and accommodate employees when things come up. Often flexibility is thought of just in terms of time, but it can also be applied to workspaces, the way meetings are conducted, work locations, and more. Let’s look at some examples:
- Offer employees more control of their schedules and non-traditional scheduling options.
- Allowing employees to work remotely.
- Offer more paid time off.
- Offer different types of work environments, like collaborative and private spaces.
- Ask employees for feedback on what the company and management can be doing better.
- Encourage creative thinking.
- Invest in your employees’ mental health.
- Use different management styles.
Benefits Of Offering Workplace Flexibility
Offering more flexibility in your workplace is not just beneficial to employees; it is also beneficial to a business to offer this. Let’s take a look at the benefits for employers.
Flexibility Increases Employee Productivity
Many businesses used to think that their employees had to be on-site and supervised to be productive, but the pandemic showed that is not true. Many companies saw an improvement in employee productivity when they began working remotely.
Improve Talent Acquisition
One of the biggest priorities among people looking for jobs these days is flexibility and having a healthy work-life balance. A good way to attract better talent is by offering Importance of flexibility; it is the best way to bring people in the door.
Improve Employee Retention
When you offer more flexibility in your workplace, your employee retention can improve because your employee morale improves. Your employees will feel more trusted and valued, which means they will feel better about working every day. They will also know that they can adjust things as needed, which means they will not need to stress as much if something unexpected comes up in their life that they need to adjust their schedule for. This can be good for their overall mental health.
Improve Employee Health And Wellness
When employees are stressed out, their physical and mental health can suffer. Stress can deeply affect someone’s physical and mental health, and your employees may end up needing to call in sick because of it. By giving them flexibility, you can help improve their physical and mental health.
Potentially Extend Office Or Service Hours
If you offer flexible scheduling to your employees outside of the typical 9-5, you might be able to extend your office hours or service hours. This means you might be able to have people in the office earlier and later, so your business can be open later and possibly reach more customers that way.
Saving Office Space
If you have some employees who only work from home or on a rotating schedule, you might be able to save on office space. You can set aside space for those who are on a rotating work from home schedule, so you do not need to have space for all of your employees all the time. You also may save money on office equipment from this since you will not need as much equipment with fewer employees physically on the premises.