Forget Summer Fridays… Working Parents Need Real Flexibility
August 4, 2014
Your company tries to offer some sort of work flexibility. They allow you to take adjust your hours for "Summer Fridays", or they let you work from home in case of an emergency—say, a monsoon. But for the most part, your company doesn’t offer the real flexibility that all employees (especially working parents) truly need. Here are three reasons why employers should develop a formalized flexible work program and how it will benefit both employers and working parents.
From commuting to clothing costs, food expenses and other extras, it can be quite pricey to work in a regular office. Working from home virtually eliminates all of those expenses for an employee. And, it’s estimated that employers stand to save upwards of $11,000 annually per telecommuting employee. No longer does a company have to pay for extra office space, office equipment such as computers, monitors, scanners, copiers, etc. They also save in terms of electricity and other office supplies. In this way, both employers and employees benefit from cost cuts when workers are allowed to work at home.
It’s more effective.
Studies have shown time and time again that telecommuters are more productive than their in-office peers. With fewer distractions (such as chatty coworkers) and more time to dedicate to work because they no longer have to commute, they are able to get much more work done. On top of that, it’s been shown that people who are given a flexible schedule are more dedicated employees who are invested in the company (and its bottom line) than those who have to schlep into an office each and every day. When workers are loyal to their organizations, there is far less turnover, which is another huge cost-savings, too.
Companies that are looking to go green in a big but easy way should let their employees work at home. Not only is electrical usage greatly reduced when employees telecommute, but it also benefits the environment in terms of fewer carbon emissions, too.
While it’s great that companies are taking strides to incorporate work flexibility into their policies, much more needs to be done. As more employees (and job seekers alike) demand flexible schedules, organizations will realize that flex is not a passing fancy, but rather a real way for employees to work, and have work-life balance, too. Add your voice to the 1 Million for Work Flexibility movement, and help create workplaces that work for all.