Why flexibility is the future of work

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Why flexibility is the future of work

You may have noticed a significant shift in the way we work over the past few years. More people are opting to prefer more flexibility to support work-life integration and more companies have adopted a flexible working strategy to help this dynamic change. This notable shift was induced during and subsequently post the COVID pandemic. This shift has provided innovative ways of working with increasingly positive results for both employers and their teams.

Flexibility defined

Flexible working refers to any type of work arrangement for employees that gives them more flexibility in how they work. This can be location-based, such as working from home, or time-based, also called flexible working hours or flexitime.

If you have a Flexible working policy in place it will help employees gain more control over their work schedule and how they balance their professional and personal life. Flexible working is at the top of almost every employee's benefit choice when considering applying for a particular position. This popularity has whispered the end of a typical 9 to 5 working day by some HR experts. 

The 4-Day week

The 4 Day Week is currently in its pilot phase in South Africa and has been adopted, all over the world, with the objective of hopefully improving the productivity and wellness of employees in the workplace. “According to Gallup’s State of the Global Workplace 2022 Report, only 24% of South African workers are engaged at work and only 29% are thriving in their overall well-being”. Apart from improving productivity, wellness and gender equality, there’s potential for a 4-Day Week to facilitate the low South African unemployment rate and youth upliftment in the future.

Being an early adapter and market leader in reduced-hour, productivity-focused working establishes businesses as innovative, progressive and forward-thinking.  The greatest risk is that your competitors try this before you do.” -Andrew Barnes.

Gen Z Drive the Demand for Flexible Work

To Gen Z’s, those born between 1997 and 2012, as defined by Pew Research Center, and also known as Zoomers, money doesn’t seem to be a top job priority. Instead, they prefer the flexibility to work from the office and remotely, wellness and mental health programs as well as meaningful work and culture. Furthermore, many Gen Z’s are willing to job-hop to find the best fit for them.

Interestingly, IFAMagazine mentions that “Flexible working is a deciding factor for young employees in choosing whether to accept a job or look for a new one. Research by the Kantar consultancy found that 86 per cent of “Generation Z”, aged 18 to 24, and 85 per cent of millennials, aged 25 to 39, said that flexible home working policies are one of the main factors they consider when deciding whether to accept a job compared with 66 per cent of boomers, aged 56 to 75. The online survey of 7,985 employees across eight countries including the UK was conducted in January.” – The Times

Wellness and Lifestyle Companion

South Africa has one of the lowest mental health scores in the world which is quite alarming. Yet there is mounting evidence and Research reflecting how flexible working positively impact the mental and physical well-being of employees. Providing flexible working options such as working from home or flexible work hour options, can help reduce burnout and improve job satisfaction. The knock-on effect for employers, hopefully, would be reduced staff turnover. When employees' needs are considered they are more likely to remain employed in their positions. 

This interesting shift in the way we work means that businesses would need to acknowledge and adapt, where possible, to these growing changes in order to increase their employee loyalty. Flexibility is key. This is the future of work.

At RecruitMyMom we provide flexible employment opportunities for skilled and professional women. If you are looking to expand your team feel free to visit our website for more information.