Why Flexible Work Benefits Attract Top Talent

May 22, 2024 | Employee Benefits

Josh Rust

As Abenity's Marketing Manager, Josh has a keen insight into the latest HR and recruiting trends.

Traffic, long commutes, and the rising cost of living in a city – these are all concerns that come with the traditional 9-to-5, in-office work structure. 

When employees are expected to be at their desks in a shared office from Monday to Friday, it affects their work-life balance, increases stress, and lowers job satisfaction. 

And if you can’t give your employees what they want, you might find it hard to keep your best ones.

Things have changed, and for good reason. 

Since the Covid pandemic, people have realized what’s possible when it comes to flexible work benefits, and they want more from their employers. The way people live their lives has changed, and they need their working environments to adapt along with their lifestyles. 

The good news is that we have the technology to allow for it. 

Due to the lockdowns and restrictions on offices during the pandemic, technology was developed to help businesses operate remotely and flexibly with ease, giving teams the ability to collaborate and deliver without needing to be in the same room. 

In a highly competitive market, top talent wants two things: better pay and better quality of life. 

And at a time when you may not always be able to offer high bonuses and impressive raises, providing a more enjoyable working experience could make all the difference in keeping a key employee who’s producing great work for you—or even scoring a new one. 

Introducing flexible work benefits is a powerful solution that increases work-life balance, reduces stress, increases productivity, and attracts top talent. 

What is Flexible Work, and How is it Possible?

There are many forms of flexible working arrangements. The most common two are remote work and flextime. 

Remote work allows employees to work from anywhere – their home, a coffee shop, or a beachside resort. Flextime gives the employee the ability to choose their hours, often with some guidelines from the business. 

Other in-demand options are compressed workweeks and job sharing. Compressed workweeks takes the 40-hour workweek and shifts it from the traditional Monday to Friday model, allowing people to work longer hours on certain days to have more free time on another. Job sharing splits the responsibility of one full-time role to two people. 

The question is: how do you make flexible working possible? 

The answer is simple: technology. If you want to see the benefits of flexible work schedules, look at what modern technology has to offer. 

Popular platforms for communication include Slack and Zoom. Key tools that make collaboration easier are Google Workspace, Loom, and monday.com. There are countless options out there, and you’re bound to find the perfect fit for your business. 

What Are the Advantages of Flexible Working for Employees?

Flexible work benefits offer a better quality of life – both personal and professional. Remote workers are able to choose where they live based on what they value rather than proximity to the office and transport. 

Flextime allows people to watch their children’s sports games, attend to family responsibilities, and balance their time according to their own personal needs. 

Post-pandemic, employees realized what true work-life balance could look like, and that led to the Great Resignation. People simply weren’t content with going back to being overworked and underappreciated. 

This is where flexible working offers employees what they truly want –  a harmonious balance between their personal and professional lives. Flexible work benefits also reduce burnout and improve mental health in the workplace. 

According to a survey by the American Psychological Association, 79% of those who felt they had control over their working environment (whether that’s physical location, hours worked, or workload) reported their mental health as being “very good” or “excellent”. 

This, ultimately, leads to increased job satisfaction and overall happiness in the workplace. Another advantage of flexible working that can’t be overlooked is higher productivity levels. 

Results of a survey by Gartner showed that “43% of respondents said that flexibility in working hours helped them achieve greater productivity, and 30% of respondents said that less or no time commuting enabled them to be more productive.” 

Better work-life balance, improved mental health and well-being, and increased productivity are all excellent benefits of flexible working. 

What Are the Benefits of Flexible Work Schedules for Employers?

Offering flexible work benefits can make a business far more attractive to top talent in a highly competitive market. 

Job seekers today are prioritizing flexibility and if you want to compete with other organizations potentially offering larger remuneration packages, flexibility is the way to go. According to Applicant Pro, “Using the term ‘flexible’ in job ads attracts 7 times more applicants compared to ‘hybrid.’”

Given the recent Great Resignation, flexible working is also an excellent talent retention tool, enabling you to keep your top performers content and not on the job market. Hiring and training new employees is a costly venture, and the results are not guaranteed. 

Flexible work benefits are one way to ensure employee retention, and they could actually save your business money in the long run. 

Remote working removes the need for an office space and cuts out the costs involved with utilities and onsite equipment. While you still may need to provide certain equipment to your employees, like laptops, you won’t have as many overhead costs with people working remotely. 

According to Global Workplace Analytics, the average business can save around $10,000 on real estate per employee every year simply by being remote first. 

In addition to talent attraction and retention and cost saving, you also benefit from an enhanced company culture. Flexible work arrangements foster a culture of trust, autonomy, and employee empowerment. 

When your employees feel like you’re invested in them and respect their ability to do their jobs without micromanaging them, it creates a sense of well-being in the workplace

How to Gain the Advantages of Flexible Working 

Whether you’re starting off as a remote business or are switching to a more flexible schedule, you need to set clear expectations and boundaries. Everyone should know exactly what is expected of them from the start. 

Managing remote teams and employees who work different hours doesn’t need to be difficult. The key is communication. Regular (virtual) 1:1s and project check-ins allow you to stay connected and up to date on all tasks without any micromanagement. 

It’s also important that you don’t fixate on the hours worked but rather on whether the objectives were met and the workload was handled appropriately. 

When it comes to performance measurement, focus on the output and achievements rather than time spent on tasks. Set up a system for making sure employees are meeting their deadlines and doing great work rather than filling in timesheets. 

One thing that’s important to keep in mind is that if you offer flexible work benefits to some employees, you should offer those same benefits to all employees, regardless of their roles or personal circumstances. Flexible work policies should be inclusive and fair. 

Of course, people have different needs, and you can’t design a policy that suits everyone equally. However, that’s one of the best aspects of flexible work benefits: the individual employee has more input into their schedule than they would with traditional structures. 

Companies That Show the Benefits of Flexible Work Schedules

GitLab has more than 1,305 employees throughout the world. The company has a unique story in that it started out as remote, went through an in-office phase, and is now fully remote. The thing that makes GitLab stand out is documentation. Everything is documented in its handbook, in its communication guide, and on its platform. 

Atlassian went remote-first during the pandemic and, while it still has offices allowing for hybrid work, is still a remote-first organization now. What makes Atlassian successful is that it doesn’t monitor working hours but rather output, placing value on work produced instead of time logged. 

Zapier was started as a remote business with flexible working built into its model. What makes it work? Transparency, trust, and putting employees first. For tips on exactly how to go remote-first and be a success, read The Ultimate Guide to Remote Work

If you’re planning on transitioning from a more traditional 9-to-5 in-office working structure, the first step is to find out what flexible work benefits your team would appreciate and start there. 

Next, you need to communicate your plans and provide documentation for your flexible working policies. Everyone needs to be on the same page. Once you have buy-in from your team, it’s time to choose the tools and platforms that will help you communicate, manage projects, and collaborate. 

Looking For More Ways to Boost Your Compensation Package?

The advantages of flexible working are endless, but there are also other lifestyle perks you could be offering your employees to level up your compensation package. These help you attract and retain top talent, keep your best employees engaged, and offer a unique set of benefits that set you apart as an employer. 
Download our perks report for a side-by-side comparison of the savings provided by our industry’s top discount providers.

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