Working flexibility can often be an issue for many women. Flexible work arrangements (FWAs) define how, where, and when employees’ work, allowing them to best manage their career and personal priorities. Once seen as an employee benefit or an accommodation for caregivers, flexible work arrangements are now an effective tool for organizations to attract top talent as well as a cost-savings measure to reduce turnover, productivity, and absenteeism.
Flexible Work Options Attract and Retain Top Talent
At every leadership level, at least half of high-potential employees reported that FWA were very or extremely important. High potential women (39%) are more likely than men (29%) to report telecommuting frequently, very frequently, or always over the course of their careers. At organizations without FWAs, women (57%) were more than twice as likely as men (28%) to downsize their career aspirations. Deloitte determined the cost savings from flexibility by calculating the turnover expense from those employees who would have left without FWAs, and came up with a savings of $41.5 million in turnover costs alone.
Flexible Work is a Business Strategy, Not an Accommodation
Some benefits of flexible work arrangements for employers include: attraction and retention, increased engagement and loyalty, cost savings and ROI, reduced negative outcomes (e.g., accidents, distractions, sick time), and improved ability to work globally and across time zones. Some benefits of flexible work arrangements for employees include: increased job satisfaction, improved performance, lower stress, reduced turnover intentions, reduced absenteeism, and less time commuting.
So, what can leaders do? Switch their focus to productivity and results, and not time spent at the desk, seek out managers who currently work flexibly and find out what works and what doesn’t and encourage your own team to be a role model and consider utilizing FWAs. What can individuals do? Seek to understand how FWAs can benefit your workplace. For the month of June, join the #WorksForWomenAB community to unlock a better place for women to work.
To join the challenge, simply:
For those who look to #BeBoldForChange, consider trying a FWA and share with the #WorksForWormenAB community to insights with challenging the assumptions about a typical 8-5 work day.
Finally, please stay tuned for our Summer Challenge – more information to come July 3rd.
Thank you for helping to spark dialogue, build awareness, and inspire action. We are reminded that change does not happen overnight, but by uniting our community we can take direct action to impact change. On behalf of Works for Women, thank you for helping us drive change in Alberta.