Workplace flexibility programs benefit firms of all sizes, industries: Report

Increased employee job satisfaction, lower turnover among benefits
|hrreporter.com|Last Updated: 11/07/2011

Workplace flexibility programs benefit employers of all sizes and industries, resulting in increased employee job satisfaction, lower turnover and lower insurance costs, according to a new report.

Published by the When Work Works initiative of the Families and Work Institute (FWI) and the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), Workplace Flexibility in the United States: A Status Report debunks myths about workplace flexibility and documents the connection among flexible workplaces and business results that matter to employers.

“As the economy, and the employers and employees that comprise it, move forward through a time of ever greater work and home-life demands, workplace flexibility becomes more than a favour or benefit for employees,” said the report. “It becomes a strategic necessity to keep employees and employers working and living well.”

A common assumption about workplace flexibility is that small employers are less flexible than large employers because of cost. But while 38 per cent of large employers (500 or more employees) said the costs of flexibility or limited funds was an obstacle to flexibility, less than 32 per cent of small organizations said the same thing, found the report.

“The assumption is that if you give employees an inch, they take a mile. But that’s not the case,” said Ellen Galinsky, FWI’s president and co-author of the report. “Overall, 11 per cent of employees with access to daily schedule flexibility use it several times a month or more, 70 per cent use it once a month or less and the remaining 19 per cent never use it.”

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