Do flexible work schedules work? A new study by IWG found flex work policies are a key factor in winning the war for talent that benefits employers as much as it does employees.
It’s official, flex work is the new norm. More than 80 percent of U.S. employees would choose a job that offered a flexible work schedule over one that didn’t, according to the latest workspace survey by International Workplace Group (IWG). Nearly half of workers consider their commute to be the worst part of their day and one in five employees say they are ‘regularly late’ for work due to travel disruptions.
A flex work policy provides employees with a certain degree of flexibility in determining when and where they work. It’s an attractive perk for employees, but there’s another reason why more than 60 percent of businesses worldwide have adopted flexible work arrangements: there are benefits aplenty for employers, too.
What Do Employers Get From Offering Flexible Work Schedules?
More than 80 percent of companies that adopted flex work policies say that productivity has increased as a result. Close to 70 percent say having a flexible workspace helps them reduce organizational expenses, manage risk and consolidate their portfolios.
Flexible work arrangements could also benefit the U.S. economy. IWG cites a Regus report that estimates by 2030, the U.S. could see an economic boost of as much as $4.5 trillion annually from flex work.
How Flex Work Policies Works
Each organization has its own unique flex work policy. One-fifth of global workers describe flex work as the ability to make some decisions about working hours. A quarter of global employees equate it with being able to manage workloads. More than half of the global workforce views it as being able to choose the type of work location.
When the flex work trend began, flexible scheduling applied primarily to office workers, but that’s not the case any longer. Roughly 70 percent of manufacturers and retailers currently use some degree of flexible working to attract and retain staff.
Why Flexible Work Arrangments Are a Big Deal to Employees
Offering a flexible work option establishes a high level of trust and makes employees feel valued, something that can boost their organizational loyalty.
It reduces some of the stress employees have when scheduling complications arise. When a child is sick, a parent might be able to work from home instead of scrambling to find childcare (and then fretting over paying a premium for last-minute childcare). When an employee has a cold, they don’t have to push themselves to make it to work (where the illness would then spread). Similarly, if an employee has an ongoing health issue, flexibility at work could make it easier when scheduling doctors appointments, treatments, or procedures.
Most importantly, with a flexible work schedule, employees don’t feel stuck on the 9-5 grind they collectively gripe about.