Words by Carlie Tucker
Many offices are rethinking rigid workplace standards to appeal to the onslaught of professionals seeking greater work-life balance. This includes an overhaul of traditional working hours, whether it be the flexibility to work remotely or ditch the standard nine-to-five routine.
Recent surveys conducted across the United States show that adult employees are now naming flexible working hours as the number one must-have perk. And to compensate for limited numbers of employers offering such a perk, the Bureau of Labor Statistics cites more than 20 million Americans actively seeking part-time jobs to better balance their personal and professional goals. This is a sentiment that is quickly catching hold across the globe, with many Australian employees calling out for the same flexibility.
Millennials are now accounting for a larger portion of the workforce, challenging companies to rethink antiquated systems. Sure, Google-esque perks such as free food and swanky offices have received plenty of attention and are cited as the indulgent demands of a pampered generation. But many Millennials prefer a more sensible approach to requesting workplace tweaks. This is why the majority of this younger generation holds flexible work schedules in higher regard than the likes of higher salaries and unlimited vacation time.
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Moving beyond Millennials, though, it seems that all generations can see the appeal in flexible hours. Working students can more easily further their education. Those with families can balance home and career demands, and older professionals see it as an opportunity to smoothly transition into retirement. Simply speaking, employees young and old feel better about careers that allow them the flexibility to accommodate all stages of their life.
Employers that embrace this work perk stand to benefit as well. Here's a look at five ways flexible working schedules pay off for companies:
Give your employees the time and space they need to deal with their personal life and you may find an improvement in overall mood around the office. Families can spend more time together, employees can get enough sleep and others can make time to achieve personal goals, all of which leads to increased happiness. And, as it turns out, happy employees are good for business.
Employees that are satisfied with their professional life are less likely to look elsewhere for companies that will give them what they're looking for. Offering flexible hours is a great way to cut down on turnover and the costs of recruiting replacements.
Wider Recruitment Base
Remember all those employees actively seeking part-time work? Offer them the flexibility they're looking for and you'll open up a whole new sector of perspective talent. Not only will you be casting a wider recruitment net, you'll be offering a desired perk that other employers may not. This can help you beat out the competition when it comes to persuading the best employees to choose your company over others.
Aside from saving hiring costs, allowing employees the flexibility to work from home once a week means the office doesn't need to be open and using resources. Companies can save on small ticket costs that tend to add up over the course of a year such as utilities and even hand soap. Even better, as many employees cite flexible hours as more important than high wages and increased vacation time, offering this perk starts to add up.
Perhaps the most important benefit to companies is the increase in productivity. Multiple studies have shown that remote workers are often more productive than their in-office counterparts. Employees that actually enjoy their jobs tend to work harder and take more pride in that work. Also, allowing employees the flexibility to work from home when they're at their most productive cuts down on costly distractions and interruptions.