Many employers today are trying … trying to adopt a more modern perspective when it comes to offering flexible work schedules to their people. But data suggests that the concept is harder to implement than we think. For purposes of defining what we mean when we say “flexible”, the most recognized approach provides employees with options to work both on-site and off-site, and work during non-traditional business hours when convenient. Flexible work schedules are not without limits. The best model is one that balances business requirements with individual choice, requiring a bargain between employer and employee that’s based on goodwill and trust.
However, employees receiving flexible options are suffering from negative feedback from their managers for not being present, even while they’re working more than 40 hours per week. Just because the company allows a person to occasionally work from home, or to come into the office outside rush hour – it doesn’t prevent his boss from becoming annoyed when she can’t walk over to his desk for a quick exchange.
The global consulting firm, EY, published an eye-opening study on how people in 8 different countries perceive their work/ life balance. The option of “being able to work flexibly and still be on track for promotion” is one of the things that employees say is very important in a potential job. Conversely, one of the top 5 reasons that people quit a job is having a boss that doesn’t allow them to work flexibly.
So it’s obviously important to employees. Why should it be important to employers? For one thing, flexible work schedules don’t produce less work. People tend to work as much or more. Worldwide, nearly half of the managers included in the survey reported working more than 40 hours per week. And, no surprise, 58% of the Americans surveyed exceed 40 hour weeks.
And one of the biggest benefits? Retention! Between what people view as important in their next job, and the reasons they would quit their current job, it’s clear that flexibility will directly contribute to retention (or turnover) for quite some time. Especially because the survey included Millennials in the workforce right now.
Love your Work!