6 Reasons Why Your Company Should Hire Flexible Workers Now
If you are a business leader, you might be weighing the pros and cons of hiring flexible workers. One of the biggest new trends in the global workplace today, recruiting flex workers is quickly moving from the fringes into the mainstream, and for good reason. Flexibility can be a boon to businesses’ bottom lines—I’ve seen companies save 20% on their PNL by hiring flexible talent. It helps cut costs while retaining exceptional human capital, and offers a powerful recruitment and retention tool.
- Flexibility can make your company a very desirable place to work, but the benefits don’t end there. Keep these six reasons top of mind as you consider the many business advantages of joining the flex work revolution.
- The flexible workforce is growing—don’t get left behind. The data is in, and the results are unmistakable: workplace flexibility is a runaway trend. A new Gallup survey of more than 15,000 workers found that 43% of Americans worked remotely last year—an increase of 4 percentage points from 2012. Moreover, the same survey stated that “flexible scheduling and work-from-home opportunities play a major role in an employee’s decision to take or leave a job.” And a McKinsey report found that up to 50% of working-age people in the US would work flexibly if they had the chance.
- Flexible workers are more productive. Telecommuting is not just about staying close to the comforts of home—it’s actually a powerful productivity tool. In a survey by FlexJobs, 76% of workers said that when they want to get important work done, they avoid the office. In a pilot experiment by Stanford University and Ctrip, China’s largest travel agency, 250 workers telecommuted over nine months—and these home-based employees worked 9.5% longer and were 13% more productive than the employees who stayed in the office.
- Flexible workers are happier. Countless studies find that employee satisfaction soars when workers stretch their wings beyond the office. Parents in particular find that work-family conflict drops significantly when they get a chance to work remotely. A study by 10 researchers found that flexibility reduced psychological distress, perceived stress and burnout, while increasing job satisfaction and lowering the rates of workplace turnover.
- Flexibility is better for diversity. Offering flexible work opportunities allows companies to cast a wider net for a more diverse workforce. Companies can benefit and enrich their ranks by hiring people with disabilities, veterans, former retirees who are going back to work and other groups that have traditionally been left out of the workplace. Perhaps most notably, flexibility allows talented women to stay in the workforce after having children and helps companies close the gender gap.
- Flexibility is the most desired perk. Second only to their paycheck, flexibility is the perk that today’s workers desire most. According to a survey by the technology staffing firm Modis, over 50% of respondents said that flex hours on the job was their number one perk. A FlexJobs survey went one step further, finding that 82% would remain more loyal to an employer, 20% would take a pay cut, 18% would work more hours and 22% would forgo health benefits for a flex work arrangement.
- Flexibility is the future. Millennials are a driving force in the flexible work revolution, signaling a sea change in workplace dynamics among today’s youngest workers. In a study by Ernst & Young, as well as a Deloitte study, lack of flexibility was stated as a top reason that Millennials quit their jobs. Companies need to nurture and support the flexibility trend if they want to retain the young workers that will carry their business into the future.
This article previously appeared on Forbes.
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I am a Mom, an attorney, and the former executive director and general counsel for a women’s rights foundation. I am a dreamer, a believer, and an agent of change. Women’s issues are my passion, and it is with this mindset that I created Inkwell.
In some respects, we are lucky. Our generation of women has been offered choices. Some women stay home and raise their children with single-minded effort, while others work... Continue Reading
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