Work flexibility: Why employers should support ‘generation flex’
Engagement 4 minute read

Work flexibility: Why employers should support ‘generation flex’

Rise | July 16, 2019

In the Global Workspace Survey conducted by IWG, 85% of Canadian employees responded that they would choose a job that offered flexible working over a job that did not. This is a significant percentage in favour of work flexibility as a deciding factor for accepting a new career opportunity.

These findings demonstrate how necessary it is for employers to provide flexible work options for their people. In the evolving workplace, there is a shift in which employees are now the forces influencing what the common work day looks like. In ‘Generation Flex’, the members of the workforce have a role in communicating when, where, and how they want to work, and organizations are following suit by altering and shaping the structure of the workforce to meet those expectations. 

In taking a look at today’s working conditions and the needs of people in the workforce,  it is clear that work flexibility should be supported by companies and that the adoption of flexible work policies is a must for a thriving workplace.

Often offered as an optional perk of the job, work flexibility is being seen more and more as a requirement to getting work done.

Driven by the demands of maintaining work-life balance, the dynamic approach of workflex is a way of accommodating to the growing needs of the workforce. When your people are enabled to be their best selves when doing their jobs, they will be empowered to put in their best efforts at work and increase their output tenfold. 

As the Global Workspace Survey findings reveal, 50% of employees around the globe work outside of their office headquarters for at least half of the work week. While these stats may raise concerns over efficiency, 85% of employees confirm that productivity has increased in their company as a result of greater flexibility.

Communication drives work flexibility

People managers may fear the inability of supporting their team members if they are not physically present, which is why it’s important to establish a foundation of accountability through workplace communication. 

Having a system in place for ensuring your teams are concise and clear in their communications, no matter where they are during work hours, is key to ensuring that work flexibility works. Adopting HR management software in your organization’s workforce management practices can provide support in keeping track and maintaining visibility of where your people will be. Additionally, workplace communication tools like Slack and Trello can facilitate communication and project management amongst team members virtually.

‘Generation Flex’ is one for all

‘Generation Flex’ is inclusive of all generations of workers and their varied reasons for requiring work flexibility in their work lives.

Work flexibility is often associated as a benefit desired by millennials and Gen Y, who are increasingly mobile and fluid in their lifestyles. However, all generations have their own unique set of responsibilities and goals to tend to and nurture, from caregiving to travel experiences. In these times, the demand for work flexibility is less about being reflective of age and more about reflecting workers in this age.

Flexible work builds mutual trust

With work flexibility shifting from a preference to an expectation from employees, adopting flexible work policies becomes an essential part of building trust and loyalty with your team.

When planning and implementing flexible work policies for your organization, discuss with your people what work flexibility options are most beneficial to them, from designated days to work remotely or managing their own schedules. By considering their input, you will ensure your program works to their preferences and for their advantage.

Work flexibility is the new norm

As Wayne Berger, CEO of IWG Canada, says, "having a company that's nimble enough to change with the times has never been more important. For companies serious about winning the war for talent, offering flexible arrangements is now the norm."

"Businesses that fail to embrace the cultural and financial benefits of flexible working risk being ignored by top talent and being seen as out of touch by their industry peers,” Berger continues.

As a necessary factor in attracting talent and retaining employees, work flexibility is the new normal. Your workplace should ensure that a flexible working culture is the norm for your company to ensure a future for your organization and your people for generations to come.

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