Employee Perks: Increasing motivation through flexible working
Flexible working hours are one of the most common initiatives employers implement to help alleviate employees’ stress. This week has seen some companies announce shorter working weeks and extended leave to increase efficiency, health and happiness.
British people work some of the longest hours in Europe, reporting to take an average of 30 minutes for lunch and working an extra 10 hours overtime each week, but yet we are the least productive, as UK productivity falls behind our European neighbours, who tend to work fewer hours.
According to the figures of Mad World Forum, actively disengaged workers are twice as likely as engaged workers to have been diagnosed with depression. Not to mention, it also makes more sense that if employees are happy to come to work, they will do their jobs with greater focus and dedication.
Millennials, in particular, look to work for organisations that foster their wellbeing and demonstrate an interest in providing for these particular needs. For businesses interested in attracting younger talent, flexible working appeals to younger employees.
A recent pilot study at a New Zealand firm finds staff were happier and 20% more productive which increased profit and improved staff wellbeing by working a 4 day week. Such perks attracts many job applicants and also plays a role in retaining talent, as well as improving work conditions that support employee wellbeing.
Increasing motivation through flexible working
For businesses and employees to benefit from implementing any perks related to flexible working it is necessary for the workplace culture to let go of the ‘traditional’ work schedule and adapt to a new mindset, one that believes a flexible working environment is an investment in cultivating employee trust and respect for the company, as well as increasing motivation and productivity.
This sounds contradictory, but more simple solutions can be adopted by businesses that ultimately boost levels of motivation and improve performance. This may include offering employees the option of coming in a little earlier or later, or perhaps choosing their own work location to give them flexibility and make the most of their working hours.
Manoeuvring some of these responsibilities can create a better work life balance and reduce stress levels. For example, commuting to work in rush hour can often induce great stress for many people. Families with young children in particular, trying to fit in the school run while competing with traffic to get into work on time every morning and then rushing again at the end of the day.
Flexible working can also reduce the pressure of presenteeism, as employees are not prone to feeling they need to stay late to make up their hours, but are empowered to make up the time on another day. This kind of flexibility gives employees the sense that life outside of the office is just as important and they are more willing to take days off when they really need to.
Studies have demonstrated that remote working can also help increase employee productivity by 13%. A valuable resource for employees when they are faced with an urgent need or an emergency situation. Therefore, having a varied assortment of flexible working options may provide both businesses and employees with a lot of beneficial advantages to increase job satisfaction and make the workplace a more positive and profitable environment.