The business case for the flexible working practice
Melbourne, Australia, 8 March 2018 – As advocates of flexible working, we are always on a hunt for good case studies, so we want to share this one in particular because of its extraordinary figures! JuggleStrategies published this whitepaper almost 17 months ago, but we think results presented would be just as relevant today.
No matter which industry we got in touch with, we can confirm the same pattern; employees are looking for work-life balance, even if they are young and only starting their careers. Trends towards the minimalism in all aspects of life are pushing people to seek productive surroundings (not only in their work-related environments). All that, of course, corresponds with changes and benefits Unified Communications generate for forward-looking businesses.
- Proven increase in employee engagement
- Significant reduction in costs
- Greater gender diversity & inclusion
- Easier to attract top talent
- Stress reduced and time regained
- More efficient communication
- Increased innovation
Recruiters or companies employing directly, advertise this benefit if they can, with listing various ‘perks’ they offer. But, it seems that workplace flexibility wins over free lunches or tickets to events.
We will provide the direct download link, but here are the most exciting findings (if you’re already not motivated enough by the reminder on the legislation introduced in ‘The Fair Work Act 2009’, so you might have already “got this” or you have a strategy how to “get there”).
Benefits of flexible working for businesses
1. Proven increase in employee engagement;
In Australia, Mirvac was able to increase engagement levels by 20%, simply by implementing a flexible working program for all employees.
2. Significant reduction in costs;
– Microsoft saw sick leave reduce by 40%,
– The American Management Association reported a 63% reduction in unscheduled absences, across some organisations implementing a range of flexible practices.
3. Greater gender diversity & inclusion;
-Bain18 reports that in flexible organisations, there is a 6% increase in women’s confidence to become a senior leader, and a 10% increase in aspiration to become a senior leader.
4. Easier to attract top talent;
– Businesses that don’t adapt will soon be left with the bottom of the talent pool and will suffer the consequences.
5. Stress reduced and time regained; flexibility decreases travel time, giving people more time to work and more control over their lives.
6. More efficient communication;
– Greater familiarity with video conferencing technologies also reduces the need for interstate and overseas travel, and global expansion is eased, as people can more comfortably build relationships and collaborate over long distances.
7. Increased innovation;
When women leave the workforce to have children, and can’t return because of a lack of flexibility, these ‘entrepreneurial mums’ are establishing and building their successful businesses instead.
Most common fears
1. ‘It’ll cost too much to implement’.
‘Roy Morgan was recently fined $72,000 for making a worker redundant when she returned from maternity leave and asked for flexible working arrangements’.
2. ‘Employees will take advantage and productivity will drop’.
The opposite – Flexibility grows Engagement which grows Performance.
3. ‘How can I manage staff when they’re not in front of me’?
For example, if management leans towards McGregor’s Theory X way of thinking, where it’s assumed that people are naturally lazy, and will avoid responsibility whenever possible, then more training and support will be in order. However, if McGregor’s Theory Y is more dominant, where it’s assumed that employees are happy to work, self-motivated and goal driven, then coaching may be all that’s needed.
‘When implemented correctly flexibility has the potential to increase productivity, engagement, retention, level of employee discretionary effort, diversity and the ability to decrease absenteeism, sick leave, cost (real estate, IT Infrastructure and energy) and carbon footprint’.