Fully in line with the expectations of today’s employee, flexibility is beneficial for both the employee and the company.
On February 20th, Deloitte published a major survey of 1,000 American white-collar workers. Its results are indisputable. The survey praised flexible working arrangements, which give employees a real degree of freedom in terms of working hours and timetabling. 94% of the respondents and 82% of the professionals surveyed said they had used the flexible work options offered by their companies. The main benefits identified include reduced stress, improved mental health (43%), and improved work-life balance (38%).
Is the demand for flexibility at work an American peculiarity? Quite the contrary, as a survey by Regus shows. The company, a world leader in providing flexible workspaces in business centers, surveyed more than 16,000 senior executives around the world. The relationship between flexibility and well-being at work is clear.
Flexibility, well-being and productivity
For example, 58% of the survey participants report better health. 63% of them say that they are more stimulated and motivated since they are using the flexibility options (choice of daily schedules, job sharing, teleworking, etc.) available to them. This form of work organization undoubtedly encourages them to adopt healthier habits. Flexible working hours allow employees to exercise regularly, to be more health-conscious and to enjoy healthier meals that they often cook themselves.
Not surprisingly, this means that increased flexibility is associated with increased productivity. This effect is particularly highlighted by the Regus survey, since 69% of the French companies surveyed (and 72% worldwide) put the increase in their productivity in parallel with the implementation of flexible working methods. Moreover, 63% (68% worldwide) of the participating companies establish a clear link between growth in turnover and flexibility.
Flexibility a win-win solution
Everything indicates that flexible work is a win-win solution for both organizations and employees. However, on the ground, we can see that the notion, which often implies the implementation of telework, still frightens some managers, even though their role is essential in the implementation of such an organization. Among the fears often expressed by the latter are the following:
- Actual working time being less than the required duration
- A risk of repeated delays in the execution of tasks
- A loss of control that could lead to difficulties with their own hierarchy
Optimal communication between managers and employees is one of the keys to overcoming these obstacles and defining the rules of the game as well as possible. In particular, it will make it possible to determine which type of flexibility will best meet the needs of both the company and the employee. Indeed, organizations have a wide range of options at their disposal to implement the right flexibility solution. For example, organizations have a wide range of options available to them to implement the right flexibility solution:
- Giving employees the opportunity to choose their working hours (e.g. 8-16 rather than 9-17)
- Set working hours annually
- Opt for the compressed work week where the number of hours to be worked is achieved in a shorter period of time.
Flexibility for all
An essential component of well-being at work, flexibility is a must for generations Y and Z. Don’t count on them to join a company if flexible working methods are not an option. For them, flexibility is an instrument of attraction, commitment and retention. A phenomenon that, by capillarity, tends to extend to all generations. A South Korean study (Kyung Hee University, Seoul) published in 2019 also shows that flexibility in work organization actually leads to a higher degree of employee loyalty. Companies therefore have no choice. It is up to them today to take up the challenge of flexibility.