How Will My Business Benefit from (Managed) Flexibility?

February 2, 2021
The flexible workplace is actually a management tool used by up-and-coming, long-established and even more traditional businesses to attain high standards of efficiency, productivity, and job performance.

The changing nature of work and the workforce is driving the need for more innovative and effective work arrangements in all industry sectors. Building a successful organization and business brand today requires more than just managing a flourishing workforce - it requires accommodating flexibility.

Potential employees and candidates want details on what makes a company an attractive and worthwhile place to work. In today’s world, that means how your business manages flexibility.

However, it is a misconception to assume that workplace flexibility is primarily an employee benefit. The flexible workplace is actually a management tool used by up-and-coming, long-established and even more traditional businesses to attain high standards of efficiency, productivity and job performance.

Just as employees first look for new opportunities to grow and advance within their company, before looking elsewhere, so do employers. By investing in developing and managing a solution that supports flexibility across all departments, your workforce - and your business as a whole - can benefit from flexibility.

Long-Lasting Perks for Flexible Businesses

Retain and Attract The Best Employees

Gaining a competitive edge over other employers is not a complicated algorithm - it is easily solved by hiring, and retaining, highly skilled, experienced and qualified employees.

Attracting the right candidates involves providing them with attractive perks and benefits, which, in many cases, doesn’t just include flexibility, it revolves around it. Around 77% of employees consider flexible working arrangements a top factor when evaluating job opportunities, while 36% of employees say they are likely to leave their current employer due to a lack of flexibility.  

Flexibility in the workplace should be a top priority to keep in mind as early as the recruitment process and provided throughout an employee’s lifecycle. 89% of companies report better retention rates because of their flexible work options.

Remember, you’re hiring human beings, not robots. Businesses unwilling to be flexible are likely to lose out in the competition for talent.

Higher Engagement → Organizational Productivity

The availability of flexible work options plays a major role in increasing employee engagement and improving employee experience. When employees are engaged in their job and in their organization, they are more likely to be satisfied with their work - and more productive.

For nearly two decades, the number of disengaged employees has averaged at 70%. Organizations are understanding the advantage of actively increasing employee engagement to better their workforce’s overall sense of belonging at the company, and job performance. Companies with higher employee engagement levels tend to exceed the financial performance of their competitors and peers. According to AON, engaged teams achieve 17% higher productivity, 21% greater profitability, and 10% higher customer ratings.

“The more flexible we make the work environment, the more we can provide workers with what they need to manage their lives and their jobs. We end up with higher productivity. It is great for the economy and the companies.”

– Brenda Barnes, CEO, Sara Lee Corporation

Score Financial Success

Flexible work arrangements can be an immense cost-saving measure and revenue-increase factor for companies with improved employee engagement, experience and satisfaction levels.

Engaged employees with flexible work arrangements tend to be happier in the workplace Companies with happy employees have been shown to outperform the competition by 20%. Likewise, customers are willing to pay 16% more for convenience and friendliness, according to PwC. More than half of customers report ceasing their business with a company because of poor service (Accenture).

On the other hand, 32% of organizations are replacing full-time employees with contingent workers to reduce labor costs. Dell was able to save roughly $12 million a year by implementing a new flexibility program, which has reduced the amount of office space the business needs, and provides employees with new and improved benefits that increase their productivity.

Overall, workplace flexibility supports long-term business objectives by lowering costs associated with high turnover, absenteeism and disengagement.  

Wellbeing and Work-Life Balance

The concept of a healthy work-life balance is not new, but it is one that is gaining more significance, and for good reason. Workplace flexibility places employee wellbeing at the center, enriching the work environment by dramatically lowering employee stress levels and reducing illness, and increasing productivity, performance and happiness.

Flexible work arrangements can give employees the autonomy to balance their other commitments - from childcare and education to other part-time jobs. The new and younger generations entering the workforce are hyper-aware of their need for a healthy balance. In fact, 69% of millennials would give up other work benefits for a more flexible working space and a better work-life balance.

The implementation of a positive work-life balance is a significant HR management practice that companies around the world are honing in on to create a conducive, motivational and balanced work environment. Read more here

Diversity and Inclusion

Studies show that employees of all ages, backgrounds and occupations value workplace flexibility. A more successful workforce is a diverse and inclusive workforce, not only welcoming workers of all types, genders and backgrounds into the workplace, but providing them with the tools to flourish.

Companies with a higher racial and ethnic diversity are 35% more likely to perform better. Likewise, companies with higher gender diversity are 15% more likely to be more successful.

Individuals that may have a more difficult time competing with external pressures have the tendency to opt out of responsibility and leadership positions. Lisa works delivery shifts in New York; without the flexible work arrangements her employer provides, she says she wouldn’t be able to adequately prepare for the proper child care on such short notice.

Diversity and inclusion are considered significant issues for 69% of executives, who recognize the organizational and individual benefits of a positive, inclusive experience. Flexible offerings can help potentially excellent workers with different needs attain their ideal work environment, and thrive in it.

Results Are In: Flexibility Wins

The majority of HR professionals (91%) agree on one thing: that flexible work arrangements positively impact employee engagement, job satisfaction and retention (according to a Society for Human Resource Management survey.).

“The employers that get this right will have a more engaged workforce, greater employee retention and better ability to attract top talent,” said Brian Kropp, Distinguished VP, Research at Gartner.

While some employers have been slow in implementing flexibility policies and solutions, your business can take advantage of effective planning, communication and tools to enhance your business outcomes and empower your HR, managers and employees in the process.

Interested in introducing flexible arrangements into your workplace? Ubeya’s team is here to help you make the right decision for your company.

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