It doesn't matter what size company you work for; flexibility matters. Workplace flexibility programs benefit employers of all sizes and industries, resulting in increased employee job satisfaction, lower turnover and lower insurance costs, according to the new report from The Society for Human Resource Management and the Families and Work Institute.
The report debunks myths about workplace flexibility and documents the connection among flexible workplaces and business results that matter to employers.
“As the economy, and the employers and employees that comprise it, move forward through a time of ever greater work and home-life demands, workplace flexibility becomes more than a favor or benefit for employees,” the report concludes. “It becomes a strategic necessity to keep employees and employers working and living well.”
A common assumption about workplace flexibility is that small employers are less flexible than large employers because of cost. But while 38% of large employers (500 or more employees) said the cost of flexibility or limited funds was an obstacle to flexibility, less than 32% of small organizations said the same thing.
In addition to short-notice schedule flexibility, employees appear to limit their use of time off for personal and children’s illnesses. Across the U.S. workforce, employees take a yearly average of eight days off for personal illness and employed parents take 3.6 days off to care for a sick child.
Another common assumption about workplace flexibility is that employees will take advantage of it. According to Ellen Galinsky, FWI’s president and co-author of the report, “The assumption is that if you give employees an inch, they take a mile. But that’s not the case. Overall, 11% of employees with access to daily schedule flexibility use it several times a month or more, 70% use it once a month or less and the remaining 19% never use it.”
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