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Flex Schedules and Remote Working, Part 1: The Evidence-Based Advantages for Employers

Flexible work options, including flexible work schedules and remote working, have only grown more common over the past few years. The 2019 Global Talent Trends Report from LinkedIn, for example, notes a 78% increase in the mention of “workplace flexibility” in job posts since 2016.

But while it’s easy to understand what makes flex working options so appealing to workers, what’s so great about them for employers? In this two-part series, we’ll take a closer look at the pros and cons of flex working options from the perspective of the employer. To begin, let’s look at what the evidence says about the benefits and advantages businesses can expect.

1) Strengthen employee retention
Over half (52%) of companies report that employee turnover falls when remote working options are offered, according to a survey from jobsite Indeed.com. Further, a survey from the Society of Human Resource Managers also found that an astounding 89% of businesses reported improved employee retention when they offered flexible work benefits

2) Get employees to work longer hours
A study from the University of Kent in England found that people with more schedule autonomy – in other words, a flexible schedule that they set for themselves – tended to work longer hours. The researchers wrote, “This increase in working hours was greatest when workers have full autonomy over their working hours.”

3) Reduce commuting time
A 2017 study found that a rush-hour commuter loses nearly 60 hours over the course of a year. Bear in mind, if an employee works longer hours under a self-determined schedule (as described above), a commute will steal time that they could spend working. Worse, a study from McGill University found that “the strain of the daily commute can negatively impact performance at work.”

4) Promote employee satisfaction and loyalty
The Indeed.com survey also found that 75% of employees who are allowed to work from home believe that remote working has helped them to achieve a better work-life balance. A study published in the American Sociological Review further reports that those who had more control over their schedule and work location reported greater well-being, less stress, and increased satisfaction.

Here’s an important caveat, however: these benefits guaranteed are not guaranteed? In our next article in this series, we’ll look at what the challenges and disadvantages inherent in flexible working options.

CoAdvantage, one of the nation’s largest Professional Employer Organizations (PEOs), helps small to mid-sized companies with HR administration, benefits, payroll, and compliance. To learn more about our ability to create a strategic HR function in your business that drives business growth potential, contact us today.  

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