5 Ways Flexibility Can Help Your Company
Rapidly advancing technologies are changing the way we work, and more people than ever are taking advantage of cyber-connectivity and the cloud to work where they want, when they want. Yet many companies are slow to change their ways, preferring traditional, in-office positions that equate 9-to-5 face-time with value in the workplace. It’s time to reevaluate, and to recognize that some level of flexibility — whether it’s working at home part or full-time, job-sharing, or simply more flex hours — is becoming a part of the new world order.
In a survey of 1,500 job seekers by FlexJobs, 82% said they would remain more loyal to an employer with flexible work options, and 75% said they would work more hours if they had a flexible arrangement. Proving that flexibility is the future of work, 85% of U.S. Millennials said they seek flexible work options for greater work-life balance.
It is this game-changing trend that inspires Manon DeFelice, the founder and CEO of Inkwell — a global work innovator that matches companies with experienced professionals to drive more flexibility, diversity, and meaning in the workplace. Inkwell puts a special focus on senior-level women, who are at risk of leaving the workforce after having children if flexibility is not an option. In addition to sourcing top talent, Inkwell also counsels companies on how to adopt greater flexibility and leads trainings for organizations. “It just so happens that today’s best and brightest value flexibility most,” says DeFelice. “I started Inkwell to create opportunities for the legions of talented people who want to be challenged, recognized, and rewarded in their careers.”
Flexible work arrangements are not just good for employees — they’re good for companies, too. Here are five reasons why DeFelice believes that forward-thinking companies need to adopt more flexible work policies in order to stay competitive and viable in the new environment.
1. Make your employees happier and more productive.
A higher level of job satisfaction comes with having the work-life balance that flexibility affords. This is true on both ends of the gender spectrum: 70% of women with families say having a flexible work schedule is extremely important to them, and 48% of men feel the same, according to a Pew Survey. People who work flex say that it actually makes them more — not less — productive. According to a Bentley University survey, 77% of Millennials said that flexible work hours would make them more productive in their jobs.
2. Attract top talent that might look elsewhere.
The labor market is tighter than it’s been in years, and companies are vying for experienced talent. Adding flex-friendly policies to the list of company perks is an excellent way to attract sought-after candidates. A 2015 survey by technology staffing firm Modis found that “flexible work hours” was the most desired benefit among workers — beating out other perks like free food, unlimited vacation time, and on-site childcare.
3. Retain the talent you already have.
Adopting a flex work policy also helps your existing employees, making them more loyal and more likely to stay than seek other opportunities. When employees feel a sense of trust and responsibility to get the job done, they return that trust with a greater degree of dedication to the work at hand. In addition, employee retention saves companies money in the long run, as they can avoid the expense and time that it takes to train and onboard new talent.
4. Bring more diversity and inclusiveness to your workplace.
Because many professional women value flexibility and work-life balance, companies with flexible work policies are naturally going to attract them. According to a McKinsey report, gender-diverse companies are 15% more likely to outperform companies that lack gender diversity. Flexibility attracts people from all walks of life — and ethnically diverse companies are 35% more likely to outperform their more homogenous competitors.
5. Save on your bottom line.
Many companies are surprised to find they can actually save money by going flex. That’s because there is an untapped and growing pool of talent that prioritizes flexibility over cash compensation. In FlexJobs’ survey, 20% of job seekers said they would take a pay cut for flexible work options. At Inkwell, CEO DeFelice helps companies save on their bottom line by factoring in flexibility to offset salary compensation.