Flexibility is the new black. In its purest form, it is redesigning the way we work. It looks at where, when and how we work to get the best outcomes for businesses, individuals and society.
So why is it now, such a hot topic?
We are on the cusp of the fourth industrial revolution. The way we work, our education system all has its roots entrenched from the first industrial revolution. Put simply; we have evolved from the mechanical machine-age era. The old rules no longer apply.
From last week’s post, “Why flexibility didn’t work for me and what I learnt.” I had a comment regarding the ROI vs. the flexibility metric and why some companies will struggle with making the change. It’s true, some companies have embraced this as the new norm, and have embedded it into their DNA. Yet, there are still companies that struggle with the very concept.
The costliest saying for a business is “Because we have always done so.” Companies who fail to embrace change are likely to fall behind. Over fifty percent of the Fortune 500 companies have disappeared over the last seventeen years. This is a poignant reminder of why we need to be agile to change.
In case, you may be working for one of those companies that struggle with the why? Here are some simple but powerful reasons why flexibility is the future of work.
Flexibility moves us away from face time and hours spent in the “office” to a focus on the outcomes. It is no surprise then that organisations who embrace flexibility get ROI through increased productivity.
Globally, all three key generations in the workforce; Millennials, Gen X and Baby Boomers – agree they are most productive when they’re not in the office (FlexJobs, 2016).
Flexibility creates happier, more motivated employees. The very notion of flexibility takes into consideration an individual instead of the same factory mould applied on the workforce since the first industrial revolution. In fact, 60% of global employees believe that flexible work practices lead to improved work-life balance.
Attraction and retention of top talent
A 2015 study by EY showed nearly three quarters (74%) of millennials worldwide say one of the most attractive elements of a potential job is the ability to work flexibly.
It’s not just attractive for millennials, but across every other generational group in our global workforce today. Top talent wants the ability to work flexibly.
Of employees globally, 41% say flexibility is one of the most important factors they consider when evaluating job opportunity and 43% value so greatly they would prefer it over a pay rise. (UnifyCo 2014)
It doesn’t stop there; research shows organisations who embrace flexible work practices have less absenteeism, greater innovation, increased cost savings, staff with a greater sense of well-being and that’s not to mention the impact it has on our environment.
So if you find you are presented with the question why? Your answer really should be why not?
This is the future of work.
Join us for our next Accelerator Breakfast, Friday 5th May at 7.15am at COMO the Treasury. We discuss how “Flexibility” works for you and showcase the story of Anna Dartnell, Mother, Wife, Business Leader, Board Chair, Non-Executive Director.