Let's get flexi
In 2015, work life balance toppled salary as the #1 priority for professionals
In the past, the provision of flexible work options was often viewed by the management of organisations as an optional ‘fringe benefit’. In the current demographic and economic climate however, policies and strategies that promote work-life balance for employees are becoming increasingly vital to commercial sustainability.
Flexible working arrangements can assist businesses to increase job satisfaction, develop management and leadership skills - maintaining productivity and retaining valuable employees who feel appreciated and engaged. This results in a happy, healthy workforce with a work-life balance.
CASE STUDIES AND RESEARCH
- Telework delivers increases in productivity and wellbeing - University of Melbourne's Institute for a Broadband-Enabled Society
- Hawke Institute: Doing things differently - Case Studies of Work-Life Innovation in Six Australian Workplaces
- Heads Up – the case for flexible working and creating a healthy workplace
- UNSW Workplace Flexibility
- Australian Institute of Management Managing in a Flexible Work Environment GreenPaper
- Nielsen Flexible Workplace Program - Brisbane Central Pilot Report
What is flexi work?
Flexi work encompasses a mix of flexible work practices on an ad-hoc or regular basis, including:
- Working form home or off-site from a remote office
- Part-time work
- Job sharing
- Staggered start and finish working hours
How to make flexi work, work
There's a huge pool of incredibly talented people in your office and in the market place who are underutilised. They're parents, job-sharers, entrepreneurs starting out... and they're keen. Consider these tips for success when implementing flexi work:
- a high level commitment from senior managers
- the flexibility required in order to respond to different individual needs
- your workplace culture should be considered and business practices may need to be amended
- the methods of communication to staff and how initiatives will be promoted within and outside the organisation
- processes for analysing, monitoring, evaluating and reporting - Connect will help you here - our annual travel survey will capture flexi work participation and results for your business
Case Study: Microsoft
90% of Microsoft's UK staff work flexibly, so all staff have access to laptops, headsets and webcams. Online training, step-by-step guides and IT workshops are held to ensure staff know how to best use the technology.
A number of business benefits have been identified since flexi work was first deployed, including:
- An improved productivity gain of 28 minutes per employee per day, saving Microsoft $86 million in employee cost.
- Microsoft employees avoided taking more than 45,000 trips per year, which saved an additional 420,000 hours in travel time. Assuming half of this is recaptured for work-related activities, this time is valued at $17 million.
- The average cost of each of these saved trips is $2,050, saving the company $93 million in travel costs.
- Employees avoided flying more than 100,000,000 miles in the first fiscal year, saving 17,000 metric tons of CO2
- By reducing audio conferencing costs, Microsoft IT expects the cost savings to be 50% of current charges, totalling more than $9 million over three years.