Employees Found to Expect Flexible Scheduling but Doubt its Value
In a survey, HR recruitment firm Ortus has found that approximately 90 percent of workers believe that flexible work schedules will become the most common employment model over the next few years and 96 percent of HR professionals agree with them. However, only 12 percent of workers consider such a shift in flexibility to be vital. Comparatively, more workers found smartphones to be a significant benefit to business.
Employees were found to believe that the prime motivator for the shift was based in business concerns rather than benefiting employees. Over half of respondents said the most common reason for the popularity of flexible work scheduling was efficiency and productivity while 12 percent said greater flexibility was a result of a desire to help employees better manage their workload and hours worked. This perception appears to have greatly contributed to employees ranking flexible working as on the sixth most important benefit offered to employees.
Respondents ranked several business benefits based on importance:
• 25 days of vacation (40 percent);
• Company pension plan (29 percent);
• Annual bonus plan (24 percent);
• Smartphones (18 percent);
• Insurance (16 percent); and
• Flexible working hours (12 percent).
A gender divide was identified that showed women were more likely than men to believe flexible working schedules was a vital business benefit, measured at 16 percent and 9 percent, respectively.
Stephen Menko, Director of Ortus UK said, “These findings suggest HR professionals have their work cut out for them in convincing staff of the relative merits of flexible working. The business case is obvious as it allows for efficiency savings on office costs and greater output. However, the benefit to the individual of a better work-life balance and less time and money spent commuting are, perhaps surprisingly, ranked low, and maybe HR needs to convey this cost-effective benefit in a more compelling way. Widespread flexible working could be a seismic shift in the way work is conducted and it is that rare beast – a change that benefits everyone. Staff [members] just need to be convinced of this point, or at least have it raised on their radar as a benefit they can request.”