In the news today was an article quoting a research finding that suggested a third of workers would leave their job if employers do not continue to provide for flexible working beyond the pandemic.
It seems it is becoming more and more apparent that employee sentiment is perfectly clear and employers could be taking risks by not adopting flexible working approaches. So is flexible working the way forward?
It’s seems hard for us as employers to adopt either a blanket ‘back to the office’ or ‘only work at home’ stance based on these findings. We risk our employees feeling dissatisfied about the company, and in today’s competitive job market, the cost of this decision in recruitment and retention terms far outweighs the cost of a new flexible approach. It is therefore, really important that we carefully consider how to provide more flexible solutions as pandemic restrictions ease, and use this as an opportunity to change outdated ways of working. In real terms more flexible working in all its forms can help to attract and retain people with the right skills for the job and can lead to more diverse and inclusive workplaces, and it can also be good for wellbeing and productivity.
It all sounds too good to be true, right? If you look at alternative research to provide a balanced perspective then you’ll also find information on working from home leading to an “ergonomic timebomb”, due to decreased levels of physical activity. Or that while productivity has improved among those working remotely, employees have been working three hours longer on average per week, leading to concerns of burnout. Therefore, flexible working is not a simple equation to solve, and emphasises that employers must review their whole approach to health and wellbeing as more chose to employ hybrid working policies.
It is clear that wellbeing and productivity are two sides of the same coin, and in the same way organisations plan for market changes, if the last 12 months has taught us anything it is that the health of our people is the most valuable asset to help businesses recover and grow. Therefore, flexible approaches to achieving this should be a critical element of any employer’s plans as we re-emerge following a challenging year. What works for one employer, won’t work for another – but if ever a time to try and test new approaches has existed, then this is it!
#flexibleworkinghours #flexitime #wellbeing #productivity #growth #policies