Flexible Work Arrangements Have Positive Impacts, Data Shows

These days, a growing number of companies are recognizing the importance of granting employees flexible work arrangements. At present, more than 33% of full-time U.S. employees do the majority of their work from a remote location, marking an increase from previous years.

That said, there are still a number of companies out there that are actively resisting this trend. If yours is one of them, here's some data from the Flex Strategy Group (FSG) that might change your mind.

1. 45% of flexible workers feel they communicate better

You'd think that working remotely, or on a different schedule, would inhibit collaboration. After all, isn't it easier for teams to work together when all members are able to gather in the same room, at the same time? But surprisingly, only 5% of flexible workers report a decrease in ease of communication, while 45% point to an increase in their ability to communicate and collaborate effectively.

2. 60% of flexible workers are more productive

Another concern companies tend to have about flexible work is that employees will slack when they're not constantly being monitored. But actually, the majority of flexible workers feel that they're not only more productive, but more engaged, as a result. And it makes sense. Avoiding a lengthy commute, for example, can free up valuable time in an employee's schedule -- thus allowing that person to spend more hours on the job per week.

3. Workers who are trained to work flexibly do better at it

While offering flexibility can benefit employees and businesses alike, the fact is that more than half of flexible workers get zero training on how to manage their new schedules. And that's a shame: While 57% of flexible workers who didn't receive training noted an uptick in productivity, 70% of those with training noted the same. In other words, training employees to work flexibly can make for better results all around.

Should you grant flexibility to your staff?

Burnout is a major problem among employees of all ages, and it's somewhat avoidable. A big reason so many folks fall victim to burnout is that they struggle to achieve a decent work-life balance. Offering flexibility on the job can alleviate some of the stress so many employees experience, especially in a day and age when workers are often expected to log on after hours and make themselves available on weekends.

Flexibility can also benefit businesses by increasing employee motivation. When workers feel cared for and respected, they tend to strive for results. When they feel abused and mistreated, they do the opposite. Offering flexibility is therefore a good way to push workers to do better; when that happens, everyone wins.

If you're on the fence about offering flexible work arrangements to your team, why not try rolling it out in phases? You can, for example, start by allowing a key group of proven high performers to work remotely once a week, studying the impact, and then increasingly bringing more workers into that mix. You can also play around with different types of flexibility. Though working from home is an arrangement many employees seek, flexibility can come in the form of altered hours or compressed workweeks, too.

No matter what sort of system you consider implementing, it pays to give flexible work arrangements a chance. It could be just the thing to make employees happy while improving your bottom line.

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