Workplace flexibility is about more than having the ability to leave early for an essential appointment. Employees across the country are increasingly looking for ways to break out of the traditional 9-to-5 doldrums, and with the help of new technologies and offbeat work environments, it's easier than ever to do so.
Survey shows flexibility is key
Nielsen and The Harris Poll recently teamed up to conduct a survey of more than 4,000 U.S. adults. According to the results of the research, about two-thirds of Americans believe that employers are making strides to provide the flexibility that workers and their families need. The desire for a more free-flowing schedule isn't restricted to workers from families, either. About 61 percent of millennials stated they could perform their job better if they were able to take advantage of a more flexible environment and schedule.
Many are also not shy about striving for positions that allow them to hit the ground running with a more adjustable timeline. The survey found that about 3 in 10 workers have chosen to pass up on a job opportunity because the role would not afford them the flexibility to handle other obligations. Those numbers are even higher among working parents. As more members of the workforce begin voicing their opinions about the rigidity of traditional scheduling, organizations are searching for ways to quell their concerns without sacrificing quality or operations.
"Workplace flexibility has moved from a niche concern to a mainstream reality," said Karen Kornbluh, the executive vice president of external affairs at Nielsen. "Men, women, parents, millennials are all interested - if it makes business sense - and employers seem to be responding."
Appeal to employees with flexibility
Flexibility can extend to many different aspects of business operations - and that has the potential to pay off in many ways for employers. Technology makes it easy for businesses to stay connected to staff members, no matter where in the world they are. With so many paperless employees - and their employers - using online portals to keep track of payroll and tax administration, it is relatively easy to handle issues and operate efficiently, even without a strict office environment.
Offering these services may be a boon for organizations. The survey from Nielsen and The Harris Poll already found that American workers want flexibility, and by providing it in everything from the company culture to payroll details and benefits, businesses can make sure they are recruiting and retaining talented employees.