Why Smart Employers Are Offering Flexible Working Arrangements

Drake International

Your talent has left the building.

Around the world many employees have been forced to work remotely. And now, surveys are showing that a majority are embracing the flexibility experience. It has clearly left an impression. Why do workers value this flexibility?

What employees are saying based on top level survey findings:  

  • It provides a more satisfying work-life balance
  • You save money by not having to commute
  • You don’t waste time, and there is no travel stress
  • There is increased job satisfaction, and morale is higher
  • Overall productivity is enhanced, and time spent working is more efficient
  • It boosts collaboration because everyone is together in the same virtual room, and focused.

Frustrations do occur of course. There can be technical and software issues, non-work distractions, as well as difficulty shutting down at the end of the day.

Flexible working is here to stay

Regardless of frustrations, leaders need to understand that flexible working is a reality in today’s world of work. As early as 2018, a survey found that 80% of workers would choose a job that offers a flexible schedule over those that did not. The demand for a more flexible workforce model will continue to define the workplace. Why is this important for employers to understand?

Retaining your top performers and attracting the best candidates is always challenging.  Factoring in requests for workplace flexibility options adds another complicated layer. With a rebounding economy, employees will have the confidence to look for new opportunities once again. A national HR survey in the US found that nearly a “third of workers have sought out a new job because their current workplace didn’t offer flexible work opportunities such as remote work or flexible scheduling”.

The talent crunch

On top of this, in today’s global talent crunch, it becomes even more difficult to keep, and attract the best. A 2021 talent trends report found that 40 percent of human capital leaders say talent scarcity has negatively impacted their organisation.

In a 2020 report, researchers found that over half of the businesses polled stated they were experiencing skill shortages. This data, from 36 countries, said, “It’s harder to attract talent than it was even two years ago”.

The failure of employers to acknowledge the new world of work will make it even more difficult to retain their top talent — and nor will they attract the top performers needed to be competitive.

There are a number of work flexibility arrangements a company can consider depending on an employee’s needs and those of the company. For those who live locally, it may be a hybrid model where they work from the office and elsewhere, such as their home. It may be a remote position only. Other options could be a condensed workweek, job-sharing, or customised working hours.

Regardless of what arrangement is implemented, clear expectations must be in place to make it successful.

Here are 5 reasons why smart employers offer flexible work arrangements: 1. Improves Retention

Allowing flexible work arrangements, one of the important perks employees want, will help you retain valuable staff.

2. Attracts Top Talent

A company known for offering workplace flexibility will have an easier time attracting and hiring the talent they need in a competitive, and tight hiring market.

3. Increases Productivity

Providing employees with more time to deal with personal responsibilities will lessen their stress leading to more dedication and productivity in their professional lives.

4. Boosts Employee Engagement

Showing respect and trusting employees to get the work done, whatever their working arrangement, boosts confidence, happiness, and engagement.

5. Casts a wider talent net

Hiring remote workers enables companies to source candidates from any location providing a wider net of top candidates for selection purposes.

With workplace flexibility requests, employers need to collaborate with their employees and establish new policies and ground rules for working together. It is a huge opportunity that employers can’t afford to ignore, particularly in a tight hiring market.

Your reality check:

A recent poll by Drake Australia saw that 60% of employees prefer a flexible working policy approach with only 20% wanting to return to the office. And SEEK saw the highest number of ads posted in its 23-year history. At the same time, applications per ad were at their lowest level since 2012. Organisations who lead the way with their flexible work practices will enjoy the benefits of greater job satisfaction, lower levels of workplace stress, lower absenteeism, increased productivity, and the ability to attract and retain skilled staff.

There are many options when it comes to flexible work practices, from a hybrid model where employees can work from the office or home. Other options could be a condensed work week, job-sharing, or customised working hours.  With the talent market tightening, organisations need to rethink flexible work policies and practices to meet the demands of the modern workforce.

Contact the Drake team on 13 14 48 to work together to map your way forward in attracting and retaining top talent in today’s new flexible workplace reality and hiring challenges. We have a range of specialist divisions across all staffing categories, to provide support and guidance you can rely on. Our unmatched talent networks will find the ‘actively seeking’ to ‘passive’ candidates to be your next top performers in this competitive market.

Looking for more information? 

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