Organizations and workers are finding Workplace Flexibility delivers substantial benefits for both, so businesses and government agencies are making changes to where and when workers are working to increase productivity, lower costs, and improve work-life balance.
Flexible workplace strategies are rapidly spreading through business and government as organizations seek to reduce expenses, provide better benefits and do both without affecting worker happiness and productivity. Leading firms are offering a variety of choices on where to work and when work occurs to compete for top talent. When combined with workplace optimization strategies, these same HR-oriented changes can yield significant cost savings and sustainability improvements.
Workplace flexibility refers to any number of changes put in place by employers for their employees to offer choices or alternatives to traditional work practices, typically related to when and where each employee will work while still meeting business goals.
- Flexible work hours – changing work day start and end times, perhaps even which days of the week, but still working the same number of hours per week. For example: starting work at 6 AM and working until 2 PM instead of starting at 9 AM and working until 5 PM.
- Compressed work weeks – Working the same total number of hours per week, but performing those hours during fewer days per week. For example: working four 10-hour days instead of the traditional five 8-hour days, still reaching 40 hours per week.
- Flexible leave – providing additional leave for newer needs (parental leave, family leave, cultural leave) and/or de-categorizing leave (from sick, bereavement, vacation, etc) to just "one big bucket of leave" to be used as needed.
- Telework– working from home one or more days per week
- Working remotely – working from a client's workplace for some number of hours or days
- Mobile work – working while on travel, while in route, at remote work centers... just about anywhere that isn't your primary work location
Flexible work has tremendous benefits and improvements for employees' work-life balance and, when combined with workplace optimization and hoteling, can provide dramatic costs savings for the organization:
- Cut number of desks and subsequent real estate by 30-50%
- Reduce energy and infrastructure costs
- Increase business resiliency and sustainability
Critical elements of a win-win flexible workplace program include:
- Identifying prime candidates for flexible work programs with actual use of space software
- Training workers and managers how to perform and collaborate in a flexible workplace
- Scheduling desks and booking rooms with hoteling software