10 Reasons You Want to Provide a More Flexible Workplace

Best Practices, Employer

Flexible workplaces sound great, but what’s the value of actually offering this? Software Company Intuit predicts that by 2020, 40% of the American workforce will be freelancers, contractors or temp workers. The freedom of this type of work is what the vast majority of us want –setting your own hours, no one constantly looking over your shoulder, experiencing autonomy and having a strong sense of accountability. Flex work and telecommuting have also become wildly popular, for the same reasons.

Employees are looking for this kind of freedom, and employers have some pretty powerful reasons to grant their wish…

39% of temp workers transition into new jobs.

Temp workers or contractors present a great opportunity to “test drive” prospective employees. The same goes for the worker, they are able to get a feel for the organization, and gauge their fit before anyone signs on the dotted line.

80% of employees said they would be happier with more flexible work options.

While it’s vital that leaders make the distinction between employee engagement and employee happiness, what the heck is wrong with making them happy too?!

Flexible working makes employees 39% more productive.

You don’t have to be a financial analyst to realize that that significant of an increase in productivity is going to translate into increased profits. While the benefits that flex time or remote working lend employees are helpful, the bottom line is what is going to drive most organizational changes, and this one seems worthwhile.

2/3 of employees who were offered flex work opportunities reported greater job satisfaction.

Preventable turnover has become a $750 million dollar issue in the US. In a society full of disengaged, unsatisfied and underemployed workers, doesn’t it make sense to offer something that you know will increase the majority of your workforce’s satisfaction?

Flex work programs reduce unscheduled absences by 63%.

When I first read this, I thought, “Big whoop”. That is probably what a lot of new-to-management folks like me are thinking as well, until they learn this issue carries an average cost per year, per employee of $1,800. That is in fact kind of a big whoop!

Stress is 2x higher for workers who don’t have flex work options.

A Tower Watson study revealed that stress/overload is the #2 reason that employees leave their jobs. As employers turn their focus to attraction and retention, offering flex time or remote working options seems to be a viable route.

60% of flex work employees would likely leave their jobs if they lost their ability to work flexibly.

Again, we’re seeing that flex work options are a strong combatant of turnover, one of the leading issues for employers today. Employees are starting to see flex work options as a leading perk in attraction and retention.

72% of job candidates will choose an employer who offers flex work options, over one who doesn’t.

Recruiters call it the “war for talent” for good reason –it’s tough out there to source, attract and hire quality talent. Flex work options are ideal for those candidates who de well with accountability, autonomy and responsibility.

80% of organizations that offer mobile work styles have already seen cost related benefits.

Again, at the end of the day, it all comes down to the bottom line in business. It can be tough for employers to find benefits for employees that are cost effective and impact productivity positively; flex work seems to cover all the bases.

Employees who work remotely save an average of $4,500 per year.

Recruiters should have that statistic in a framed cross-stitch, hanging behind their desk. This is a huge incentive to offer quality candidates that doesn’t cost the organization very much at all. In fact, it will often yield returns that far exceed the cost of setting remote workers up with the right tools and technology.

Remote and flex time work options aren’t just perks that workers are looking for, they are exactly the perks that employers should be offering, highlighting and incentivizing for their own benefit as well. The numbers make it clear; a flexible workforce is a successful workforce.

This post originally appeared on GlassDoor.

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