Flexible work options: Offer them or lose out

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New survey findings have revealed that Canadian employers are affording more women the opportunity to work part time.

The latest Workmonitor report from Randstad revealed that female employees are granted the right to work part-time more frequently than male employees (60% vs  44%). Data from Statistics Canada, meanwhile, showed that in 2010 more than twice as many women as men were employed on a part-time basis.

The evidence suggests both that an increasing number of employees (both male and female) are seeking flexible work arrangements and an increasing number of employers are offering it.

“The current needs of our society require flexibility in work schedules. As working mothers and fathers with young children struggle to balance work and family responsibilities, they are more likely to require a flexible work arrangement,” said Stacy Parker from Randstad Canada .

In another study conducted earlier this year by Regus,  88% of the 117 Canadian businesses polled were offering their employees some form of flexible work arrangements, and 66% of Canadian employers believed offering flexible work options was a cost-effective initiative. One-third said allowing flexible working arrangements improves employee productivity.

Offering work-arrangement flexibility usually helps employers  recruit, retain and motivate top-quality staff. Equally, it helps employees attain a realistic work-life balance , which should lead to less stress and work-life conflict, improved loyalty and morale, drops in absenteeism and a boost in productivity.

“Facilitating and taking part to open discussions, setting expectations clearly and raising awareness on existing HR programs can go a long way in building trust between employees and employers in order to align family and personal obligations, career goals and business objectives,” Parker said.

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