BrightWire Networks blog
Tip of the Week: The Best Workers are Looking for a Flexible Work Environment
One of the biggest challenges of running a business is attracting and retaining quality workers. To accomplish this, you’re going to need more than an old-fashioned “help wanted” ad. These days, you will need to offer what quality employees are looking for--a flexible workplace environment.
More companies are making the work experience more flexible for their employees. This is seen in ways like, allowing employees to create a work schedule that’s most suited to their needs, and being flexible with where work is done; whether it be at home, or even at different locations around the office so that workers aren’t tied to their desk. These accommodations may sound like big, and even risky, changes to the traditionally-minded business owner, but they’re changes worth making.
Why You Should Bother Accommodating Workers
Sure, you could just do business-as-normal and not take any extra measures to accommodate your employees by providing a more flexible workplace experience. Although, keep in mind that, if you don’t, you’ll greatly hinder your company's ability to attract and retain quality workers. Essentially, if your business doesn’t provide dynamic workers with what they’re looking for, then they’ll flock to another company that does, i.e. your competition.
You know how disastrous it would be if your competition gobbled up the job market’s top talent. A situation like this would mean that your business would be forced to hire their leftovers. And on the flip side, a competitor offering a more flexible work package will look mighty tempting to a trained member of your staff whenever they become frustrated with your organization's inflexible policies.
The Need for Workplace Flexibility
Regarding this issue of attracting and retaining quality workers, Cornell University did a study. The research makes a compelling case for workplace flexibility:
- 44 percent of HR and labor management claim that attracting the right people for the job is the most difficult part of the hiring process.
- The second greatest difficulty for HR and labor management (17 percent), is offering competitive employee benefits.
- 50 percent of business owners plan to hire new staff within the next year.
- This statistic has increased by 8 percent since 2012.
The Benefits of Workplace Flexibility
While it can be difficult for a company that has a strict view of procedures and scheduling to shift gears and implement a more flexible working environment, the Cornell study goes on to show that the benefits of doing so are worth it.
- 64 percent of small business owners report that an overall increase in their business’s mobility and flexibility, along with the option to work remotely, improved their hiring processes and increased their ability to retain employees.
- Workers who have the choice of when and where to work are 12 percent more satisfied with their job and workflow.
- 40 percent of employees found that they had more innovative ideas and practices than those without choice.
- 76 percent of employees found that they had a better work performance when given a choice of how and when they work.
- If there are multiple places to work in the office (i.e. quiet places for focusing, conference rooms for collaboration), employees were found to be 22 percent more effective at focusing on specific tasks, and 17 percent more effective for collaboration
- Furthermore, the study discovered that businesses that grant their team a choice in how they work grow up to four times faster and cut their turnover rate by two-thirds.
Okay, You’ve Convinced Me, Now What?
For established companies that have had a traditional approach, the biggest challenge to implementing a more flexible work environment is making the decision to change the company culture to be more flexible. However, once this decision has been made, you’re going to want to start seriously looking at how technology can aid in making your workplace more accommodating.
To this end, BrightWire Networks provides solutions like mobile devices, cloud-based services, Voice over Internet Protocol with its instant messaging and video conferencing solutions, Virtual Private Networks, virtualized servers, and more. If you’re looking to revolutionize your business and make it as flexible as possible for you, your staff, and your potential staff, then reach out to us at (360) 528-6017 and let’s have a conversation about what it takes.