Why should you offer flexible working?

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Happy employees are more productive, more creative, and more engaged. But there are other benefits that organizations are gaining: happy employees are proud of their employers and they are willing to let their friends and followers in Social Media know that they are part of that particular organization. This way they are helping their employers to build up strong and attractive employer brand reputation.

We know that today’s labor markets are really challenging all over the world and therefore organizations are looking for secret weapons how to attract and retain best employees. As far as I know, there isn’t a magic wand available that helps to solve all the challenges. But there are some basic hygiene factors that organization could use create an engaging and happy workforce.

For instance, several studies have found that one thing that plays an integral role in here is flexible work. It has been found, that flexible workers achieve more, are less sick, work longer hours, are happier and less prone to burnout and psychological stress.

Moreover, the 2017 World Happiness Report reported that work-life balance is now one of the strongest predictors of people happiness.

Additionally to that, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 20 million Americans actively choose part-time work. They’re not working fewer hours because they can’t find a full-time position; rather, they’re engaging in a deliberate, careful work-life balance. They choose part-time work so they can follow their passions. These workers want to design their own careers.

So what this flexible work actually means? According to Business Dictionary, it is:
work practice (explained by the employer in employment policies and contracts) that allows the employees a certain degree of freedom in deciding how the work will be done and how they’ll coordinate their schedules with those of other employees. The employer sets certain limits such as minimum and a maximum number of hours of work every day, and the core time during which all employees must be present.

Who are the best in class employers here whom you could learn from?

For instance, you can learn from Deloitte who was a joint winner of The DTCC Best for Innovation award at the 2015 Working Families’ Top Employers for Working Families Special Awards. A few years ago the firm launched its Time Out initiative. As part of its Work Agility strategy, the company already offered people extended parental leave, career breaks, and flexible working. But Time Out is about providing all employees with an extra four-week block as “a meaningful period of time away from the business and checking emails

Clif Bar, an American company that produces organic foods and drink, is another great example.  Their employees enjoy paid sabbaticals and an optional 9/80 schedule. Which in Clif Bar means a two week period instead of 10 8-hour days, employees can work 80 hours in 9 days and get every other Friday off. Or, if they prefer, telecommuting is available with the flexibility to work from home one day per week. It even boasts an on-site daycare and time to volunteer during work hours.

Is flexible work integrated also into your organization?

Sources used in this post:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/adigaskell/2016/01/15/why-a-flexible-worker-is-a-happy-and-productive-worker/#7dfe975214c4

http://worldhappiness.report/ed/2017/

https://www.inc.com/women-2/why-flexible-working-hours-actually-makes-employees-more-productive.html

http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/flexible-work.html

http://www.hrmagazine.co.uk/article-details/working-families-award-winners-deloitte

https://www.workflexibility.org/50-best-companies-for-work-flexibility/

http://www.clifbar.com/article/life-at-clif-bar

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