In 2013, when Yahoo! decided to eliminate remote work and the flexible hours that come with it, employees were understandably disgruntled. Since then, Yahoo! has suffered a market share loss. Of course, there are thousands of other factors involved in a company’s performance, but flexible and remote opportunities for employees have been shown in many studies to be good for business.
Why? Because flexibility increases diversity and inclusion (you can hire a wider variety of people if you are flexible), and diversity and inclusion are good for the bottom line.
Here are six other ways flexibility is good for companies and workers alike:
#1 Increased Productivity
The advancement of technology has made it possible to work remotely. Flex working women find autonomy by being able to work from anywhere and become more focused in their work. Employees who are not monitored continuously tend to take more responsibility in their duties, as opposed to those that always have supervisors checking on their progress.
Flex workers often work at night, on weekends, or during the holidays to achieve the company’s goals. Work flexibility and productivity go hand in hand as they give employees a better balance between their official and family duties.
#2 Increased Passion for the Job
Flex workers have been known to enjoy their work from anywhere and being able to work remotely as opposed to reporting to their workplace on a daily basis. Working remotely or in a shared workplace, and reporting to the office only when a need arises, boosts passion for the job. And workers tend to be more productive when they enjoy their jobs.
Flex workers do not work entirely for the paycheck, but also for the situation that allows them flexibility. Having passion (and loyalty and appreciation) for their work makes them look forward to attending to their duties and contribute to the wellbeing of the company.
#3 Less Work Stress
Women and men who are expected to attend to both their career and home duties experience burnout at the end of the day, leaving them stressed or depressed in their social life. Allowing people with those extra duties (more often women than men) to choose flexible work hours provides them with plenty of time to attend to their personal duties in the time they didn’t have to be stuck in morning and evening traffic.
#4 An Emphasis on Teamwork Over Competition
Some employers provide flexible working hours along with the chance to work in a shared workplace. Flex workers meet in a shared office space where they can share ideas and ask for assistance from their colleagues. When working in a coworking space, employees strive toward achieving a common goal, as opposed to working individually with the aim of being rewarded by the employer.
#5 Lower Childcare Expenses
Instead of having to pay big bucks to cover the hours after school and before dinner, a remote or flex worker can cover those hours herself and make up the time in the evenings or early mornings. Money saved on childcare feels like a raise.
#6 Leveraging Prime Time (Whenever That Happens to Be)
Every employee has their own time when they are most active, when the ideas are flowing and the energy is high and the outside distractions (like kids or other duties) are at a minimum. And that’s the time when a savvy employer should want their employees to work.
Google’s parent-friendly policies have been credited with some of their hiring competitiveness. Not only are there four child care centers located not far from its headquarters, but their flexibility towards women with children provides greater levels of in-house satisfaction. New mothers are given 18 weeks of paid maternity leave as well as a bit of extra cash in order to aid with expenses. The incredible success of Google is a clear indicator that such an approach leaves a lasting impression.
Flexible working options should only become more prevalent as society continues to advance, which is good news for women, parents of any gender, and also for the companies that will benefit from having productive, grateful workers.