How flexible is your workplace? Think about it. What do you offer your employees? Do they get some say in their hours and where they are located to work? Does your company offer employees the option of choosing how often they work, or perhaps allow employees to take a temporary leave of absence when necessary? And, if so, are these options available to all employees or just a small percentage of them?
Workplace flexibility in the U.S. is often overlooked and hardly ever given in sufficient amounts. Many companies out there may deem themselves a “flexible workplace,” while in fact, they are not offering their employees many options in terms of when, where, and how often they would like to work. These factors play an important part in employee satisfaction and accommodation, which in turn are critical to company success. The simple fact is, happy employees work more efficiently and effectively. Once companies start to realize this, they begin to see a huge difference in company productivity and workplace morale.
It may be difficult to imagine life outside your work environment, but, the truth is every single employee has his or her own personal commitments and responsibilities that they must attend to after they walk out of work. Whether it is a mother that needs to take her kids to soccer practice and cook dinner when she gets home after a long workday, or an elderly woman that simply needs more time to relax, all employees have their own specific needs and would appreciate a little more control over their work lives.
While giving more employees more power in the workplace may not seem like something that will move your company forward, it could increase both recruitment numbers and retention rate. In addition, satisfied employees will make for a positive work environment by improving company morale. A little sense of control goes a long way. When people feel they have more options, they become more optimistic about their work lives, therefore they are more likely to work efficiently. This could be a huge benefit to overall company productivity.
When you get the chance, pause and take a look around at your work environment. Do your employees look content and efficient, or do they appear to be dissatisfied and sluggish? If the latter describes the majority of your company’s workers, it’s time to take a step back and examine your workplace flexibility. Start with the extent to which your employees are given the freedom to choose when and where they work because these are among the greatest influences over their lives. The ideal employer should be able to establish a flexible workplace that allows employees to balance both their professional and personal lives, while maintaining high company productivity.