Flexible working is a hot topic, now more than ever. Bright Horizons recently reported that companies without flexible working options risk losing employees who have benefited from a healthier work-life balance during lockdown. In addition, their report found that over half of employees would like a combination of home and office working moving forward. For job seekers, two thirds of working parents will seriously consider working arrangements before applying to a job. Therefore, the leadership talent you are seeking, could be deterred from even applying if flexible working is not an option.
Unfortunately, the current working world does not reflect employee’s aspirations. CIPD research reports just under half (46%) of employees do not have flexible working arrangements in their current role. It is clear, following the response to the pandemic, that businesses are capable of offering flexible working. So why turn back now? Businesses need to act swiftly to offer flexible working as standard, or potentially risk losing their valued employees.
But, what are the benefits of moving to flexible working? We take a look at some of the highlights below:
Wider Talent Pool When Recruiting
Flexibility on location means businesses will be able to hire from a much wider geographical area. This results in a much larger talent pool and gives your executive search partner and recruiters access to exceptional candidates they may never have reached before.
Flexible working includes hours worked, not just location. Flexibility on hours can be a huge bonus for those employees with caring responsibilities. We explore this in more detail in our previous article: 5 Ways To Support Parents And Caregivers.
Diversity and Inclusion Benefits
A move to more flexible working arrangements will assist in retaining a more diverse workforce. Diversity and Inclusion in the workplace has been proven to advance business engagement and profitability. In addition, flexibility on working hours and location will also support diverse recruitment efforts, something you can discuss with your EDI provider.
Improved Mental Health
Autonomy over when and where employees work can provide them with a better work-life balance. A good work-life balance plays a huge part in managing stress and overall mental health. A reduction in stress and an increase in mental wellbeing, will ultimately result in less sickness and time off work.
If your business is looking to reduce its carbon footprint, offering home working is a great place to start. An employee’s daily commute accounts for 98% of employees work-related carbon footprint. Through offering homeworking, businesses could save on average 3.2 tonnes of CO2 per person every year.
A move to working flexibly has a multitude of benefits for employers. Plus, with employees and candidates overwhelmingly in favour of this shift, it is clear that flexibility is the way forward.