Conversations about the benefits of flexible working have been getting louder for several years. In 2016, an extensive study over 9 months showed that flexible workers were more productive than their 9 to 5 peers. In it, flexible workers not only met more targets, but were off sick less often and were happier in their jobs. Previous studies had already connected the dot between happy employees, productivity levels, and company profits. Now, more companies are talking about flexible working as they return to the office after months of remote working, with a Gartner study revealing that 82 percent of company leaders plan to allow employees to work remotely at least part of the time. As the idea of flexible working becomes more normal, the case for it has only been growing stronger. From increasing employee retention rates to boosting employee happiness, flexible working looks set to become the future.
Employee burnout is at a record high. According to a recent survey by Indeed, 52 percent of employees said they felt burnt out. In addition, 67 percent say their burnout has gotten progressively worse over the last year. However, research has also shown that employees are 43 percent less likely to experience burnout when they are given greater autonomy- the choice of the tasks they do and when to do them. For the company, lower levels of employee burnout reduce their annual costs. Each year, employee burnout costs between $125 and $190 billion in healthcare costs.
Employee retention and satisfaction rate is also likely to be higher in your business if you encourage flexible working. A company that is willing to work with employees and allow alternative flexible work arrangements like staggered hours or part-time work-from-home arrangements are more likely to be repaid with greater employee loyalty and morale.
Flexible Work Arrangements Enable Employees To Have Better Work-Life Balance
More employees are calling for a better work-life balance from businsses. This is particularly prevalent amongst younger workers, who now account for up to 50 percent of the workforce. 80 percent of them say they consider how a job will affect their work-life balance, according to FlexJobs’ annual survey. Additionally, 70 percent said they considered leaving an employer due to the lack of flexible work options.
By giving employees greater flexibility to fit their jobs around other life commitments like nursery pickups or pet requirements, employers are showing that they recognize their workers come with lives of their own – family commitments to uphold and pets to take care of. For instance, 63 percent of U.S. families own pets. As a result, more companies like Amazon and Ceros are leading the way in creating pup-friendly workplaces by providing dog safe spaces, pet stipends, and dedicated pet cleaning routines in the office. As a bonus, bringing your pet to work has been linked to reducing employee stress, boosting productivity, and fostering work satisfaction. The research has been so compelling that Google has now given a dedicated name to dogs who accompany their owners to their workplace: Dooglers.
Flexible Working Reduces Stress Triggers For Employees
More employees are reporting workplace stress, and encouraging flexible working practices is one way managers can work to help stressed workers. By offering staggered work times, on-site childcare or pet amenities, and family-friendly options like remote working, you can counteract key stress triggers for today’s employees, including money worries. In an Institute of Leadership and Management study, flexible working was shown as a key way to reduce workplace stress and alleviate employee concerns.
In the end, an employee who is less stressed, happier, and more supported in flexible work practices is also one who is more motivated to do well and be loyal to your business. Creating a flexible workplace that recognizes your employees’ unique needs is a valuable way to achieve this benefit.
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