Wisdom//

Bill Gates Says You Must Offer This Perk if You Want to Hire the Best People

As generations get younger, so does the demand for this workplace benefit.

Courtesy of Frederic Legrand - COMEO / Shutterstock
Courtesy of Frederic Legrand - COMEO / Shutterstock

Recruiting talent over the next decade will be challenging for many companies. As work demographic continues to shift and technology advances at breakneck speed, traditional brick-and-mortar companies will be challenged to recruit and retain the best talent available.

Bill Gates understood this several years ago when he imparted on us wisdom that is now deemed conventional: 

“The competition to hire the best will increase in the years ahead. Companies that give extra flexibility to their employees will have the edge in this area.”

The gig economy, remote work, compressed workweeks. It’s clear we have transitioned to an age where workers expect more flexibility. But while “flexibility” has increased substantially, the majority of companies today are either unable or unwilling to adapt to the lifestyle demands of young workers. In turn, they’re losing good talent to companies with more flexible options like remote work.

Why you should offer more flex time for employees

According to a recent study by FlexJobs, 84 percent of millennials want more work-life balance and 54 percent want to work a flexible or alternative schedule.

According to Global Workplace Analytics,up to 90 percent of the US workforce says they would like to “telework” at least part-time, with two to three days a week being the sweet spot for the right balance of “concentrative work (at home) and collaborative work (at the office).”

Other research from survey software firm Qualtrics found that roughly 76 percent of millennials would take a pay cut to work for a company that offers flexible office hours.

So what are some tangible business reasons why companies should offer their employees flexible work options?

1. Longevity. 

According to The Deloitte Global Millennial Survey 2019, millennials and Gen Z may stay in a job for more than five years if their employers are flexible about where and when they work.

2. Job satisfaction.

According to a recent Staples study, a massive 90 percent of workers indicated that more flexible work arrangements will boost morale and increase their satisfaction at work–a key component of employee recruitment and retention. 

3. Companies save money.

It’s a simple equation: Healthier employees lead to more engaged and productive employees. Lost productivity due to poor health costs U.S. businesses nearly $226 billion per year. Companies also pay less in health coverage for healthier employees. 

4. Improve employee retention.

Companies with no flexible working policies in place are losing valuable talent. Per the Staples study listed above, 67 percent of employees would consider leaving their job if work arrangements become too fixed.

5. Recruit better talent.

Flexible working will also improve your recruitment metrics. A 2018 Zenefits survey found 77 percent of employees list flexible work as a top perk when evaluating job opportunities.

6. Employees are more productive.

People who have some control over their schedules are more productive, plain and simple. Ron Friedman, award-winning social psychologist and author of The Best Place to Work: The Art and Science of Creating an Extraordinary Workplacesaid in an interview, “We have decades of studies showing that people are happier, healthier, and more productive when they feel autonomous.” Friedman explains that autonomy is a basic psychological need so that “the more autonomous we feel, the more likely we are to be engaged.”

The future is here

Compared to five years ago, forty percent more companies are now offering flexible work arrangements as the demand for remote and flexible arrangements rise in unprecedented numbers. Firms not jumping on the bandwagon will be at a significant disadvantage as younger generations seek out flexible work options.

Originally published on Inc.

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