July 24, 2023

Flexibility as a benefit – why is it crucial in a contemporary workplace?

Flexibility as a benefit – why is it crucial in a contemporary workplace?

In the current workplace as we know it, employee flexibility has become an increasingly important factor for companies to consider or better yet – implement immediately. Although workplace flexibility most commonly refers to the ability of employees to work in a way that allows them to balance their work and personal responsibilities, it could be argued to be a much broader and ever-growing concept. Let’s discuss employee flexibility, its importance and how to create a truly flexible work environment to better engage and retain talent.

Why is employee flexibility important?

> Work-life balance. Burnout is scary. When employees can balance their work and personal responsibilities to create their routines, they are less likely to experience burnout or feel overwhelmed. A balanced life has a direct positive impact on engagement both in personal life experiences and in the workplace. Gallup research reveals that companies with engaged employees experience 40% fewer quality defects and more than 20% higher profitability.

> Morale and motivation. Most of us want to work to live and not the other way around. When employees are given the flexibility to manage their work hours and shuffle around their workload based on their personal out-of-work responsibilities, they are more likely to feel valued and supported by their employer. Needless to say, this leads to increased job satisfaction and, if managed properly, can improve productivity and performance. 65% of employees believe that they would be more productive working from home than in a traditional office environment.

> Attracting and retaining talent. It is that simple – employees are looking for jobs that offer flexible work arrangements. A decade ago, offering flexible work options would have made you stand out from your competitors. These days, it’s almost a non-negotiable. In fact, 82% of employees say that they would be more loyal to their employer if they had flexible work options.

How to create a flexible work environment?

Creating a flexible work environment involves several key steps. First things first, you should assess your current work policies and identify areas where you can be more flexible. Flexible work schedules, remote work options, job-sharing opportunities, and freedom to choose benefits are just a few examples.

Grand ideas are good but providing tools to use flexible opportunities is a crucial step. Can you afford and ensure the technology and infrastructure in place to support flexible work arrangements? This may involve investing in software, updating IT infrastructure or even hiring some additional help.

After identifying flexibility opportunities, implementing them into your policy, and ensuring all the needed tools for employees to use them effectively, you should put effort into clear communication. Written policies or handbooks that outline the types of flexible work arrangements available and any guidelines or expectations for employees who choose to use them are a good idea.

What can be arranged flexibly except the way we work

In short – a lot, even compensation. Some companies allow their employees to choose how often their salary is paid, from monthly to weekly or bi-weekly. But the biggest trend is flexible employee benefits.

One size does not fil all and when it comes to benefits, your employees should be able what benefits them most individually. Maximise your allocated benefit budget by allowing your employees freedom when choosing what to get. Here are just a few examples:

> Budget in restaurants, cafes, and food delivery services
> Allowance for active leisure, such as gym memberships, workout classes, waking, skiing, rock climbing lessons… you name it
> Personalised health insurance package
> Learning and development budget
> Budget for commuting options

& many more – the more options you can offer, the more competitive you can be

You should do it

In conclusion, flexibility in a workplace turned from a nice-to-have into a must-have. To make flexibility work as a benefit on its own, you must consider that the best benefits… are personalized benefits.

Flexibility in work location, hours, or employee benefits is not about one policy for everyone but the freedom to customize and apply it to your individual circumstances. When doing it right, companies can improve employee morale and motivation, improve work-life balance and engagement, and, most importantly, attract and retain top talent.