Flexible Work Arrangements Enriches Employee and Employer Work Life

by Admin | February 23, 2016 | 0 comments

Employees today negotiate more than just salary with job offers. Trumping retirement plans and healthcare, the most desired benefit now in the United States is flexible work arrangements where employees are provided with the freedom to work from home or adjust their scheduled hours. 80% to 90% of the US workforce say they’d prefer to work remotely at least part-time. Regular work-at-home, not including self-employed work, has grown substantially by 103% since 2005 and 6.5% in 2014. If utilized and monitored properly, flexible work arrangements can be highly beneficial to both employees and employers.

According to a FlexJobs survey, 74% employees stated their top reason for wanting flexible work options is for better work-life balance; family reasons as well as exercise and health were the following motives. Employees are able to gain the sufficient time and energy to participate in activities to their personal preference. Along with the additional free time, employees end up saving money due to less spending on commutes, dry-cleaning, and buying lunch at the office.

Flexible working arrangements have just as much of a positive impact on employers. They gain an enhanced company reputation from offering one of the most desirable job benefits and are able to attract and retain top talent. Flexibility is also an inexpensive way to for employers to "reward" their employees as companies tend to save money by offering it. 20% of respondents to the FlexJobs survey said they would take a 10% pay cut for flexible work arrangements. In addition, employers reduce operating costs by decreasing the number of desks and employees in the office at a time.

Companies that allow flexible work options typically see a tremendous increase in productivity. A study completed by a Japanese travel website revealed that call center employees who worked from home completed 13.5% more calls than the in-office staff did. The quieter work environments and decreased distractions from a busy office make it easier for employees to process their calls. Employees ended up working additional hours as they had no commute and didn’t run errands during their lunch break. They started their work day earlier, took shorter breaks, and worked until the end of the day as opposed to a strict nine to five arrangement. For employees, increased productivity yields to better performance reviews and subsequently pay raises.

Employees have greater control over their health and fitness routine when they’re able to choose their working arrangements and schedule. They enjoy the ease of deciding when to exercise and don’t have to go through the hassle of carrying a gym bag to and from work, showering at the gym, etc. Flexible working arrangements lowered systolic blood pressure and heart rate, tiredness, mental health, sleep duration, sleep quality and alertness, and self-rated health status. Working overtime and fixed-term contracts had no significant effects on physical or mental health or on any of the well-being outcomes examined in the same study. Improvements in health plummeted the number of sick days taken by employees which consequently decreases medical expenses for both employees and employers.