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Why Workplace Flexibility is the Key to Employee Retention

/ 6.8.18

Please welcome Riley Stefano, a guest blogger from Hubspot.

 

Up until a few years ago, salary was king of the career decision ladder. Whether retaining current employees or hiring new talent, money Why-Workplace-Flexibility-is-the-Key-to-Employee-Engagement was the ultimate factor when choosing one company over another. However, salary is no longer the top priority when it comes to employee benefits.

 

In today’s world, work-life balance matters more than compensation  — and that’s why having a flexible workplace has officially topped the charts of employee benefits.

 

HubSpot’s Consumer Omnibus of 2017 found for the first time EVER that having a flexible work environment beat out the need for a competitive salary, with 53% of those surveyed naming it as the #1 most important employee benefit.

 

But why now? Why has the tide turned in the world of work benefits, and how does workplace flexibility play a part in retaining employees and reducing turnover?

 

Fast-Paced vs. Flexibility

It all has to do with work-life balance. Not too long ago, the idea of finding an ideal work-life balance seemed mythical. The ever-faster pace of the working world burnt out employees. It caused disconnect between families, and employees became unhappy with their workplaces. And, with tech start-ups (and the associated make-it-happen culture) booming, that perfect work-life balance seemed farther out of reach. Employers began to expect more from their employees, and the 9-5 quickly became the 9-9; with technology at our fingertips, even the 9-9 became an all-day job.

 

Employers recognized this imbalance, and some decided to do something about it. It’s those businesses that began to offer flexible work environments that became, and still are, very attractive companies to employees.

 

The Benefits of Workplace Flexibility

The statistics prove it: flex work has a direct correlation with employee happiness. And bonus! Happy employees not only choose to stay at their current company, they sing its praises to family, friends, and top talent currently searching for their next career move. Employees who are happy and feel valued by their company become your talent ambassadors. These de facto recruiters share their stories with friends, family, and social networks, where today’s talent is searching for their next career. 

 

Not only does flexibility retain and attract employees, it also makes employees more productive by giving them the space to work when and how they want. Autonomy in the workplace, in turn, leads to a much less stressful working environment. What if you have a sales rep who handles the western US territory, when your HQ is on the East, 3 hours ahead? Or what if your night-owl product designer can ship code at record speed at 9 pm? Having the freedom to work how you want, when you want is a highly sought-after benefit modern employees are looking for.

 

Forging Ahead with Workplace Flexibility

Flexibility has become such a necessity in today’s workplace culture that companies such as Werk exist solely to help organizations and their employees “reinvent the workday.” Werk's report on a flexible future shows that although many companies are on the right track to helping their employees find work-life balance, there's still have a long way to go.

 

Those companies that are on the right track...what are they doing right? This list of 10 companies highlights the commonalities in great flex cultures. Today’s tech giants are also among the companies blazing the way toward a more flexible work environment. For example: Netflix has had an unlimited vacation policy since 2010; their culture deck states that their vacation policy is simply to “take vacation.” No forms, no rules, no tracking days — employees just take the time they need to recharge and refuel. The same applies to their parental leave policy: new parents are encouraged to take the time they need to to be with their baby and come back when they feel they’re ready.

 

HubSpot has also made strides toward a flexible work environment with our unlimited vacation policy and flexible work hours. Need to work from home two days a week? Or take a day off for a doctor’s appointment, to travel for a wedding, or surprise Mom and Dad for a much overdue visit? Go do it! HubSpot has seen the impact of our flexible work plan through both the hard work of employees and in the positive feedback we receive. 

 

Now It's Your Turn

The 9-5 is dead, and companies are just starting to catch on. If you’re looking for a way to both engage and retain the top talent at your company, flexibility is key. If you don’t want to dive into flexible work hours head first, start off with a “flexibility week” at your office or with your team. Give employees the freedom to come into the office when it works best for them, or work remotely for the week. See how happiness and productivity levels change, and gather feedback from your employees.

 

Give your employees the reigns to dictate their own work schedule, and you’ll be amazed at the production of work and the talent you attract and retain by doing so.

 

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