Work flexibility as good as a pay rise?

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Think flexible work hours is a new-age fad? It might be the best retention tool you’ve got, especially is company-wide raises aren’t possible.

A new survey shows 78% of workers want more access to flexible working as a benefit in the absence of pay rises. More than two-third (68%) would like to work from home, but even flexible hours would please some.

The poll of 1,000 office workers, by software provider TeamViewer, showed that half the respondents said they would like to travel less for work, while nearly a quarter of 25-34-year old staff said they were “happy to work in bed”.

The UK survey showed many businesses were yet to implement a clear flexible working strategy with a almost half of those surveyed saying they never or rarely worked from home. Only 26% were able to choose when they want to work from home, while a further 22% said home-working arrangements were flexible as long as they got prior agreement from their manager.

“Almost 90% of [Canadians] would work at home part of the time if they could,” Kate Lister, who wrote the WorkShift Canada Telework report, said. “It’s a way companies can differentiate themselves from the competition. Canada is having more retention and attraction problems than the US or the UK, so companies need to pay attention to what people want and what they can offer.”

So what’s holding companies back? One aspect is the fear of losing the ‘team’ feeling, Lister said. People tend to have a polar view of mobile workers, believing they spend all week in their pajamas or in cafes. However, most teleworkers spend two to three days a week working at the office, giving ample opportunities for collaboration.

Lister’s report estimates employers could save almost $10,000 per employee by allowing workers to stay at home two days a week in productivity increases and improving efficiency of real estate.

 

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