Flexible work is a benefit that’s become increasingly common and greatly appreciated by employees, whether they’re working from company offices or from co-working spaces. More flexible work schedules and locations were accelerated by the pandemic since 2020.
Forecasters predict that this trend will continue as workers keep up the demand for flexible working arrangements. The fact is that these arrangements benefit all involved—not only the employees. While workers get more freedom, companies benefit from motivated and engaged professionals.
Discover the concrete benefits of flexible work below:
The days of the traditional nine-to-five are long gone. Thanks to modern technologies, it’s easier for people to work when, where, and how they want. Companies that cater to the demand for flexibility will benefit because it will be easier to find and retain top talent.
Research shows that flexible work is a critical component in retaining and recruiting employees. Competition for top talent in the job market is fierce, and companies are well-advised to give workers what they want—and that’s flexibility.
Companies can ultimately cut on human resources costs and efforts by providing this benefit, thanks to improved retention. Meanwhile, workers will enjoy the increased sense of personal agency they have over their professional lives. This can help them stay motivated, engaged, and loyal to their employer.
Reduces stress and burnout
When workers have more power over how they orchestrate their workdays, they can configure them in a way that reduces stress and decreases the odds of burnout. For example, some people work better during the day, while others tend to do their best work in the evenings.
Forcing someone to work at a time that isn’t in line with their natural mental and emotional rhythm is a recipe for disaster. Workers will get stressed, and the work they turn out will suffer in terms of quality. Flexible work is the solution—and the research is there to prove it, as studies show that flexible work can minimise the risk of burnout.
By offering flexible working arrangements, companies can also cater to diversity. If you require people to sit at a desk from nine to five precisely, you automatically lose some potentially valuable workers. People with certain obligations like child care or education can’t manage a traditional work schedule.
Further, the standard office requirements are very limiting in terms of geographical location. By opening up the doors to flexible work, employers and employees can connect more easily. Companies can get the motivated, talented people they need. Meanwhile, workers have more job opportunities than ever before at their fingertips.
Increases productivity levels
By allowing people to work at the times that best suit their schedules, you also ensure increased productivity levels. Interestingly enough, companies initially shied away from flexible working arrangements precisely because they were worried that productivity would decrease. It turns out that the opposite is true!
Research suggests that when employees can work according to their schedule, productivity increases drastically. One survey showed that flexible workers worked 1.4 days more every month on average. That adds up to almost 17 days every year.
It’s a financially sound decision
Flexible work is also a sound choice from a financial perspective. Again, this holds for employees and employers alike. For workers with flexible work times or locations, costs like work lunches and commuting can be cut. For example, if people can avoid driving to work during rush hour times, they can usually cut gas costs.
Companies likewise reap the rewards and save money with flexible workers. For example, say a company tells workers they can work from home one day per week. This means the company will save costs on infrastructure, like heating, cooling, water, and electricity, on days when the office population is decreased.
There are also other costs to consider, like cleaning services. Janitorial services are a significant expense for many businesses. This is a point that you can’t skimp on, especially in light of the pandemic’s push for improved hygiene. However, fewer workers on-site means less to clean and lower janitorial costs.
It’s an eco-friendly choice
Flexible working arrangements are also more environmentally friendly. When people are becoming increasingly concerned with the threat of climate change, this is a significant consideration for companies and individuals alike. Surveys show that people prefer supporting eco-friendly companies if they can.
So, how does flexible work contribute to a greener earth? First, it cuts back on the need for commuting, which can help lessen greenhouse gas emissions. When businesses can cut back on heating, cooling, and electricity—as described above—they can further this trend. Plus, there is a reduced need for cleaning supplies, paper towels, and office goods that become trash.
Flexible working also decreases the “throw-away” culture. When people are constantly centering their life around an office, they tend to get food and coffees on-the-go. That means more packaging that inevitably ends up cluttering landfills in the long term.
Less missed work days
Last but certainly not least, a flexible working environment tends to result in fewer missed workdays by employees. This happens for a few reasons. First, workers tend to be more engaged, motivated, and productive when they have the freedom to design their schedules. They will then be less inclined to call in sick.
Furthermore, when workers are at home, they may be less inclined to call in sick in the first place. If someone has a headache but can work from their couch, they may still log into their work email and manage to get stuff done. However, they will be less inclined to get in their car and drive to the office when their head is pounding!
Finally, workers can stay healthier when they aren’t meeting face-to-face as frequently. Flexible work allows people to have more space and privacy, minimising the risk of transmitting bacteria and viruses that can potentially get people sick.
Flexible work for employees offers many advantages. And employees are not the only ones who benefit, companies do too. Overall, flexible working arrangements create a win-win situation for all involved.
Author: Amelia Johenson
Photo credit: Kevin Bhagat on Unsplash