What Employees Want: Hybrid Work and Flexibility
2021 was quittin’ time in America. Last year alone over 47.4 million Americans quit their jobs. This year, employees seemingly have the upper hand against employers. The Turnover Tsunami, a.k.a. The Great Resignation, has forced a reckoning with the workplace and few employers have come away unscathed. Organizations are now shifting priorities to make employee well-being and retention the priority. The fact of the matter is, after health insurance, the most desirable perks and benefits are those that offer flexibility while improving work/life balance. So, what is it that employees really want to achieve a better work/life balance?
- Hybrid Work – Working remotely some days in the week and at a physical office on others
- Flexibility– Being able to occasionally shift hours that best fit an employee’s life
Why Hybrid Work?
In 2020, people had to change the way they worked overnight and turned their kitchen tables into a fully functioning office. Many employees discovered they were more productive at home. On the other hand, some miss the social nature of the office and working collaboratively in person. Because of these mixed perks of in office vs. working at home, hybrid work can offer the best of both worlds.
According to a survey by the International Workplace Group, 72% of office workers would prefer a hybrid way of working to a full-time return to the office – even if reverting to Monday – Friday routine meant earning more money.
Why Flexible Work?
When the workforce went home because of the COVID-19 pandemic, it caused a change in the expectations of employees and therefore the way companies approach their work environments. The pandemic prompted job seekers to seek flexibility that allows them some level of control of their time. Gene Lanzoni at Guardian said “Time is the most important benefit an employer can provide. For many of us the pandemic afforded us more time, and we’re really not willing to give that back. We had a taste of a more balanced life.”
Balance has never been more important. 60% of families with children have both parents working and for these families, being able to work from home with flexibility is nonnegotiable. Flexibility can allow caregivers to log off from 3 p.m. – 8 p.m. and then come back and do some work after the kids are in bed. When employees have more control of their work schedules, they can free up time to take care of things that pop up in their personal lives – whether it’s running an errand, taking a child to the dentist, or being home for a delivery.
In the end, a flexible schedule contributes to a higher quality of life. Employees don’t have to put their careers on hold to focus on their families or education. This freedom is more valuable in the long run than a paycheck.
Worker retention is more important than ever in 2022. Building a good workplace culture based on the current interests of employees plays a significant role for the success of the company. Businesses now live in an employee-driven job market. It is essential that as an employer you know what benefits your employees value to keep them happy, healthy and working for you.