Almost every aspect of employment has changed in the last decade or so, but one thing has remained constant. Most individuals are still required to spend most of their time at the workplace. Companies are being held back by this rigid and increasingly obsolete strategy, which would only worsen if the necessary improvements were not made.
Flexible job opportunities, which give workers a say about when, where, and how often they work, are a key lever in retaining specific employees (particularly females) according to various studies. To dismiss these initiatives as merely a means of promoting gender equality is to underestimate their effect.
Flexibility is becoming more common among men as well, thanks to both demographic shifts and the transition to a gig labor force or economy. To put it in simple terms, businesses that rely exclusively on traditional flexible work styles to increase gender diversity are missing the bigger picture.
According to research, women who work in organizations with no hybrid workforce options are 20% more likely to look for a new career in the upcoming three years, while men in the same situation are 30% more likely.
Flexible work programs are becoming a business necessity in this light. The benefits are essential not only in terms of gender diversity, but also regarding employee retention, commitment, and a corporation's ability to stand out in the battle for both male and female talent.
The Need for a Hybrid Work Model After the Pandemic
A flexible work environment is becoming increasingly necessary for both men and women. The recent pandemic resulted in 60 percent of working mothers and 52 percent of working fathers struggling to juggle their work and family life. Managers must change their work expectations and habits to accommodate employees who need to work on a more flexible schedule.
Managers must change their work expectations and habits to accommodate employees who need to work on a more flexible schedule. Employees value flexibility so much that many claim they would consider changing jobs to get it. Approximately 80% of the American workforce wants to work remotely at least part-time, and this is essentially necessary due to Covid-19.
Additionally, the younger generation believes that permanently switching towards a flexible work schedule is essential. These workers want to succeed in their professions, but not at the expense of their personal lives. They want to devote more time to personal tasks such as continuing their education, volunteering, or following their interests.
What Are the Benefits of Hybrid Work Programs for Companies and Employees?
For workers, the benefits of flexible work are obvious. However, businesses benefit as well. Offering flexible job options help businesses recruit top talent and keep it once they are employed. Reduced turnover decreases the expense and organizational friction associated with replacing employees.
This impact is amplified for women aspiring to obtain senior leadership positions. Most organizations recognize they still have a long way to go in terms of building gender-balanced executive teams.
Overall, higher levels of satisfaction, engagement, and commitment indicate a more empowered and active workforce. In some situations, a hybrid work helps businesses to save money on real estate by eliminating the need to find accommodation for employees every day.
A flex work program often encourages companies to focus on results and production rather than facetime or the degree to which workers speak up in conferences or take credit for their accomplishments when evaluating success. They help remove prejudice from promotion and advancement judgments in this manner.
Additionally, allowing workers to work from home sends a clear message to them that their managers are aware of their problems and trust them to do their job and work in whatever manner they believe is most effective. It establishes a relationship that benefits both workers and the company and is seen as a source of value for both parties.
How Do You Make a Flexible Work Program?
It is essential to make an efficient flexible work model. Several managers like to focus on culture while others are concerned about implementation. There are six key factors you need for a successful program:
1. Ensure the flexible working best practices do not hinder any employees’ advancement opportunities.
2. Get your employees involved in setting up the policy.
3. Be flexible in your implementation of the hybrid workforce model.
4. Make sure the model is suitable for daily use.
5. The program needs to be suitable for all employees in the workplace.
6. All employees, including those in senior positions, need to use the model.
Staff members who take advantage of these practices should not be stigmatized for doing so. Flexible work would fail if it increased retention but not progression. Unconscious prejudices that pigeonhole workers based on their perceived contribution to their jobs must be eliminated. People who work under flexible conditions can still thrive in their employment.
A small group of HR leaders writes the flex-work strategy in several organizations. Then it is released, and people are often puzzled as to why no one is using it. As a program is being created, it is essential to have support at all levels of the organization, from leadership to line management. Companies should involve workers at all levels—across business divisions, roles, and regional areas to see the vision come to life.
Companies can provide a range of choices for when, where, and how often workers work, depending on their circumstances and the company's business goals. Part-time employment or a job-sharing agreement, for example, can appeal to an employee with small children or an elderly parent who requires long-term care.
If a worker must relocate, remote work becomes more appealing. A leave of absence can also be taken by an employee who has a sick family member or who needs a longer holiday. People can use desk booking software to manage their schedules. These factors highlight that there is no one-size-fits-all method to this approach.
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