In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic has led to a significant amount of the workforce working from home.
Many businesses and organisations haven’t had their employees visiting their offices since the beginning of the year and many employees have found themselves working more flexibly in terms of hours or days. This, often associated with balancing work and other responsibilities such as homeschooling or childcare.
Even though flexibility in the workplace is increasingly popular in the modern working place and across different industries, some businesses and organisations wouldn’t find it necessary to offer their workforce flexibility in terms of when to work, where to work, how to work etc, before the pandemic. Many were simply uncertain of the benefits and believed it to be costly and unproductive.
With that said, if there’s one positive that has come out of the ongoing pandemic, it’s that it has put an emphasis on the conversation about flexibility in the workplace.
When it comes to offering flexibility for your workforce, it’s not only about allowing employees to work from home. Whether it be flexible working hours, shift swapping, job sharing, power over when and where to work, there are a myriad of forms which can be offered to your workforce, and the benefits can be invaluable.
Some of the benefits include:
A competitive edge: recruit, retain and engage employees.
A recent report conducted by Quinyx, showed that 1 in 3 of the deskless workers in the UK, polled in the study, would choose a flexible work schedule over making more money. Research from Gartner also suggests an increasing future demand for flexible working as a result of the flexibility employees have been offered during 2020. Employees are now aware of the benefits of flexible working and know how to work effectively from home. They have learned how to use technology that supports them to do so. Studies also suggest that employees will look for flexible working hours and conditions as a key driver as to whether they choose to work for an organisation or not. This means that offering a well-thought-out flexible working policy can be what will make it or break it for your business when attracting or retaining employees.
A tool to help an organisation reach its goals thanks to improved productivity.
When is the best time to work? Where are your employees the most productive? The simple answer is, it depends. Different employees work better at different times and by giving them the possibility to choose when to work, organisations can see a significant boost in productivity. Research shows that, when employees effectively make their own choices about how, where and when they work, they are healthier, less stressed, and more productive and engaged.
Help your employees find a better work-life balance and, as a result, perform better at work.
It should be a high priority for any business to offer their employees a good work-life balance. Recovery and recharge will lead to higher performance levels while at work, and this can be achieved by offering flexibility.
Leading the way
Consequently, the conversation about flexibility in the workplace is here to stay. Now more than ever is the time to properly think through how your business can be at the forefront of the conversation. Leading the way in terms of flexible working will not only make your organisation look good, but will also put the business in the spotlight as a driving force behind modernisation, workforce happiness, and better performance. Factors that will also have positive implications for both talent acquisition and retention. With that said, flexible working is and will be a key issue for HR professionals for a long time to come.