13 Benefits of a Flexible Workplace For Employees, Company & Planet
What is it and what are the benefits of a flexible workplace?
Have you heard of the term flexible workplace? What about telecommuting or coworking?
A flexible workplace is one where a company offers its employees an easier way to work,
– whether that is from home, the office, or anywhere around the world.
– with a more flexible schedule, instead of the not-always-convenient 9-5.
And it’s what the people want.
The desire for a flexible workplace outranked the desire for a higher salary by working parents in this 2016 survey.
A flexible workplace gives employees more freedom to get their job done while managing the responsibilities of life.
Benefits of a flexible workplace…
…for the employee
- Your child is sick, again, but you’ve already scheduled out your PTO for the rest of the year. Seems you’ll have to cut that vacation a day or two short.
- Your car is in the shop and an Uber to work is $15. Your friend offered to bring you but it’s like seriously out of her way.
Doesn’t take much to picture these scenarios, does it?
Things like this happen constantly because, well, life gets in the way.
So, what would you do if a job offered you a workplace that eliminates these issues? Where you could stay home with your sick child and still get your work done?
A flexible workplace offers employees
1. a work/life balance that outranks any other job desire. According to this article,
77% of employees consider flexible work arrangements a major consideration when evaluating future job opportunities. AND 36% consider leaving their current employee because a flexible arrangement is not an option.
2. a large reduction in commuting time and gas expenses.
Some employees spend over an hour commuting every day. And, let’s not even discuss rush hour.
3. less distractions.
Less meetings? Sign me up. Now don’t get me wrong, we all love our coworkers, but sometimes THAT conversation seemed unnecessary…
4. more collaborative places to work.
Finding the best place to work or collaborate can be inside or outside of the office. Having the ability to choose an open collaborative place or grab your favorite conference room for some brainstorming with your team may be just what you need!
[Related Article: Desk Sharing and Office Hoteling]
5. the chance to work when you are at your best.
Are you a morning person?
A night owl?
Having the freedom and flexibility to work when you are most productive and energized seems like an obvious benefit for both you and your employer.
Doesn’t everyone want to produce the best work in the most efficient time?
…for the employer
Picture it: You offer a flexible workplace for your employees. They start working from home. And all you can envision is couch sitting, too many snacks and a binge list of Netflix.
We get it.
This is unknown territory.
There’s the possibility of employees taking advantage of this setup.
But didn’t you hire hardworking, trustworthy employees?
James Liang, CEO of Ctrip worried the same thing but with the help of Standford professor Nicholas Bloom and a two year experiment, the worry ceased. (And the benefits shined bright.)
A company that offers employees a flexible workplace
1. boosts employee morale and collaborative thinking.
And employees are still feeling connected to their coworkers due to the easy access to open, collaborative workspaces, videoconferencing tools, messaging apps, etc.
[Related Article: How Hot Desking Will Build Your Company]
Giving employees the ability to choose workspaces other than their usual office lets them find spaces near their teammates. It can give your creatives room to be inspired and boost their innovative thinking by being near those coworkers that brainstorm and converse with them.
2. leads to greater productivity. According to this study,
77% of employees reported they were more productive working remotely and 54% stated they accomplished the same amount of work or more in the same amount of time that they would’ve in the office.
[Related Article: Who Says You Can’t Measure Productivity?]
3. reduces tardiness and absenteeism.
Without the added commute time, employees are able to start working earlier in the day. And there’s less stress to leave just a little bit earlier to try to miss certain rush hour traffic.
Plus, they can work even when they are starting to feel a bit under the weather or just getting over something.
4. helps attract and retain top talent and reduces employee turnover.
Millennials are searching for jobs that give them the greatest flexibility. The freedom and autonomy a flexible environment gives employees can make them feel more appreciated and valued.
5. saves the company thousands of dollars a year.
Less in-house employees mean less space and energy usage, meaning more savings!
And everyone wants a job that offers a great workplace environment with the added benefit of working where they feel best, taking the time they need to keep their life in order without needing to use PTO, and a manager who fully understands and respects this flexible arrangement.
Supporting flexibility so that employees can find their perfect place to work and collaborate, whether that’s inside or outside of the office, is becoming a necessity for any company.
…for the earth
Picture it: One employee starts working remotely and, in that first day, 1.2 gallons of gas is saved, the lights in their office aren’t turned on and the planet smiles a little brighter.
According to Global Workplace Analytics, if employees who wanted to work from home and had jobs that allowed them to did so, we’d see a greenhouse gas reduction that’s
equivalent to taking all of New York State’s workforce off the road.
The environmental benefits of a flexible workplace include
1. a reduction in gasoline usage, carbon emissions, and air pollution.
In an average day, the U.S. uses 391 million gallons of gasoline. In a year, taking one driver off the road would save around 314 gallons of gas, reduce carbon emissions by 69% and minimize the amount of nitrogen dioxide their car puts out into the air each day.
2. and, interestingly, less paper and plastic.
When you are at the office, with access to that large, super-impressive printer, the need to hold the PDF in your hands and mark all over it seems unbearable.
The average office worker uses 10,000 sheets of copy paper each year!
When you work from home, you are more likely to use your computer and online resources to work instead of printing sheet after sheet.
And have you considered your plastic intake at work vs. home?
It’s much more likely you spend your breaks getting take-out containers, coffees with plastic lids and so forth. A far different lifestyle than when you’re at home.
3. a reduction in energy usage.
I.M.O., most offices keep their air conditioning cranking… leading many to need sweaters (and even sometimes heater IN THE SUMMER).
With fewer employees in the office, the work the A.C. is putting in should diminish. The amount of lights and plugs and so on is lessened. And the use of energy consumption sees a much-needed decrease.
When the GSA took on the flexible workplace and combined their six offices into one with the help of AgilQuest’s software, they experienced a 50% reduction in carbon and energy consumption.
Read the full GSA case story here.
What do you think about these benefits of a flexible workplace?
These are only 13 benefits of a flexible workplace. But there are so many more.
What benefits do you think of when you think of workplace flexibility?
If you want to learn more about how AgilQuest can help you implement a more flexible workplace, you can find the information here or check out these resources below!
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Reading this, it’s easy to see how employee benefits help business owners and employees alike. As you stated here, business owners can benefit from increased morale and performance. Employees will be able to stay healthy, motivated, and perhaps able to choose from flexible plans.