The 9 – 5 workday structure has been cemented in workplaces for decades, but in recent years the way we work has evolved.
As the market becomes more competitive to attract and keep quality talent, traditional working practices and employee benefits are changing. Flexible work in particular is becoming more and more popular.
In fact, according to our 2019 Salary Guide, flexible working hours is one of the key factors that attracts top talent. Particularly within Finance and Science, where one of the top benefits requested over the past year was flexible and remote working.
A survey of 1,000 Irish employees by YouGov in 2018 revealed that just 5% of workers currently work a traditional 9 to 5. It also shows that while working patterns are changing, staff want more flexibility.
On top of that, of those employees who are offered flexible working hours, 82% said it made them feel more positive about their job while 79% said it was a reason to stay with their current employer for longer.
Flexible working can benefit both a business and its employees in a lot of ways. We’ve listed some of the top ways flexible working can benefit your business and employees below.
A more productive workforce
Stress can have a big impact on productivity in the workplace. The latest ESRI study, funded by the Health and Safety Authority (HSA), states that job stress among employees in Ireland doubled from 8% in 2010 to 17% in 2015.
Giving employees the benefit of flexible working hours can enable them a better work-life balance, and studies have found that it has a direct impact on productivity.
A 2018 study from AAT UK showed that workers who are offered the option of flexible working are benefitting UK business and are more productive than employees that don’t have the option.
A happy worker is a productive worker, and flexible working gives employees the freedom to better meet their personal needs and work around their own schedule.
Create a more equal workplace
The ‘Child Penalty’, where one person focuses on their career and the other carries out the bulk of the household and child-bearing duties, only serves to reinforce the workplace gap between men and women.
A recent study found that women with children and partners are 5.5 times more likely to do all or most of the household work than men in the same family situation.
Diageo are using flexible working to narrow the gender pay gap. According to their 2017 Gender Pay Gap report, the company is identifying roles across the business that are particularly suitable for part-time and have created a job share and flexible job design portal allowing employees to indicate that they are interested in a job share and find potential job share partners.
“We aim to create an internal job share portal, in addition, if we have an employee who wants to apply for a role on a job share basis and they cannot find a job share partner internally, we will explore whether it is possible to find them a job share partner through external recruitment.”
Providing flexible work hours will allow both genders to further their careers while equally distributing the work at home, which will make good business.
Reduced staff turnover
The same study by AAT also found that three-quarters of these workers said they’d be reluctant to leave their current place of work if a new one didn’t allow the same flexibility.
Today’s employment market is more competitive as ever and having flexible working hours for employees can give your business a distinct advantage in both acquiring and retaining talent.
A study in 2014 from the International Journal of Advance Research in Computer Science and Management Studies asked participants the following statement: “Flexible working policy is a reason that I prefer to stay longer in current organisation”. Out of 100 respondents, 92 agreed.
Overall, giving employees the autonomy to create their own work schedule is proving to be the way forward for 2019. According to the LinkedIn Global Recruiting Trends 2019 report, in just the last two years, there’s been a 78% increase in job posts on LinkedIn that mention work flexibility. What was once a distinct perk is slowly becoming an expectation.
Overcoming the stigma attached for employers is the biggest challenge, but with a growing number of companies across the world implementing it, as well as the growing emphasis on gender equality in the workplace, it’s hard to deny how flexible working can benefit your business.
Looking for more market insights?
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Whether you’re an employer or a candidate looking for insights into your industry and role, the 2019 Cpl Salary Guide has something for you.