Flexible work sounds pretty nice, right? Whether it’s telecommuting, job sharing, working part-time, or flexing your schedule, having the ability to make work fit into your particular schedule and lifestyle is a huge advantage. In fact, work-life balance is one of the key reasons employees seek workplace flexibility.
Although flex clearly seems ideal for employees, you may wonder why employers sign up. As it turns out, employers aren’t just signing up, they are jumping at the opportunity to embrace flexibility. Research shows that the benefits employees experience translate into a positive impact on the company. What kind of positive impacts? According to a FlexJobs survey, over 75 percent of people surveyed avoid their office when they need to complete important work. 82 percent of respondents indicated that loyalty to their company would increase if they offered flexible work options. And 80 percent of those surveyed said flexible work options would make them healthier. Businesses benefit from all of these boosts in the form of higher productivity, better recruiting and retention, and a healthier workforce.
Several employers are embracing these positive impacts and opening up their doors to these happier, more loyal, more productive employees. Check out four of these employers making a concerted effort to offer workplace flexibility.
1. Upwork is the world’s largest freelancing website and is an example of a company offering telecommuting. According to Upwork, they offer “Work Online Wednesdays”. On Wednesdays, employees are encouraged to work from home in order to avoid the daily commute and embrace the life of a remote worker. Furthermore, employees can enjoy working remotely other days of the week if needed. Upwork also offers flextime; one employee stated that “you can work anytime as long as you finish it on time”, emphasizing this focus.
2. You have probably heard of Clif Bar, orat least your stomach has. They make food that is good for people and the planet. You also might have heard of their unique work schedule. Clif Bar operates on a 9/80 schedule, an example of a compressed work week. Employees work 80 hours in nine days, getting every other Friday off. If telecommuting is a better fit, employees can work from home once per week. One employee says that this is one of the “best perks for families.”
3. Whole Foods Market operates in the retail industry, offering high quality foods. Whole Foods Market has many part-time employees on their team. Not only do they offer many part-time opportunities, they actually offer benefits to part-time employees, which isn’t very common. According to Whole Foods Market, team members are eligible for benefits if they work over 20 hours per week and have completed a probationary period. While many employees cite that health care premiums are high for part-time employees, they also indicate that the benefits are “really awesome compared to alike grocers.”
4. HealthCatalyst, a data warehousing and analytics company, is another employer offering telecommuting. According to one employee, about “40 percent of the workforce is remote.” Another indicates that “a number of senior executives (including the CEO) … work from home for significant portions of every week…” In addition, telecommuting employees cite HealthCatalyst pays for cell phone and internet services.
If you are an employee and a flexible work schedule seems like a good fit for you, get started with your job search, focusing on companies that offer flexibility within the workplace. If you are an employer and are looking to implement some form of flexible work schedule, consider taking notes from the four companies above. Remember, it will take time to get a flexible work policy up and running. However, once it is, be sure to use it to your advantage when recruiting: include information about the flexibility you offer in your job posting and on your careers page.
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