Company culture encompasses far more than social causes and charitable work. It also involves the values and overall lifestyle we want our brand and our employees to represent.
Employees want to know the companies they work for value their mental, emotional, and physical well-being. They don’t want to feel chained to their desks, forced to work extra hours, or be afraid to use their paid time off.
After all, employees are tethered to technology. Smartphones and tablets give them access to their work email, productivity apps, and information they need to be productive. As a result, employees find themselves working at all hours of the day, and they expect more trust and flexibility in return.
Yet long workdays, packed to-do lists, and arduous commutes still plague many employees. The average American workweek is now 46.7 hours—about a full eight-hour workday longer than it’s supposed to be. And half of all American workers say they work more than that. Plus, the average commute time for Americans is 26 minutes each way. All of that time can take a serious toll on employees’ health and mental well-being.
It’s no surprise, then, that very few employees (38%) believe their organization is concerned with their welfare, according to Oracle Human Capital Management’s recent worldwide employee engagement survey. This is a significant issue that will get worse if it’s not addressed soon.
Offering more flexibility is the best way to help employees reach work-life balance. And while some may think that flexible working is synonymous with allowing employees to do their jobs from home, it’s really about trusting employees and giving them more control over how, when, and where they work.
Flexible work arrangements can come in many forms. For example, companies can develop work-from-home arrangements and guidelines. Or they can offer more flexible work hours that let employees clock in and out based on their work styles and preferences. Flexible work can also scale in different ways. You can test your initiative in one department, then expand to others if it’s successful; or you can do a company-wide rollout from the start.
Offering work flexibility can lead to significant productivity gains and improved employee satisfaction. Promoting this flexibility in the description of new job openings can also help you differentiate your brand and attract new talent. A survey of 3,100 professionals found that while only 7% said they were the most productive while working in an office, 50% said they accomplished more working from home. A different study concluded that more than 80% of people would be more loyal to their employers if they had more flexible work arrangements.
Despite the benefits of flexible work arrangements, just 40% of survey respondents said they had access to these options, according to our recent global survey.
If you’re planning to offer more flexible working options—or are looking for ways to improve your current plan—here are a few tips to help get you on track:
To learn more about the Oracle HCM survey and other factors that affect employee engagement, download the complete report here.