Flexibility Matters

With an estimated one in four workers considering leaving their jobs as the pandemic wanes, savvy employers are rethinking their benefits. At the top of the list is flexible work arrangements. According to a recent Randstad study, more than half of American workers prefer some form of flexible arrangement. Employers who pay special attention to employees’ needs for safety, health, family care, and mental health wellbeing may fare better with attracting and retaining talent.

There has been plenty of talk about the “new normal.” It seems likely that “normal” is ongoing flux and will continue to evolve for some time. Employers may wrestle with the tradeoffs between working from home versus back onsite, as well as the complexities of hybrid schedules.

What can employers do? First, carefully consider the needs of the business. What jobs can successfully be performed remotely or with a hybrid model? Have employees met business objectives when working from home?  What has gone well, and what have been the challenges? Next, consider asking employees what is working well for them. Do they feel safe returning to the office? What does flexibility look like for them? Finally, regularly evaluate what is working and what isn’t and be as transparent as possible with employees along the way.

Organizations that take an intentional, systematic and thoughtful approach to defining flexibility for their workforces may position themselves to compete in our constantly changing world of work.