Health

Workplace Flexibility is a Necessity Nowadays for Employees

There’s no mistake about it, workplace flexibility is a necessity nowadays for employees whether they’re office workers, teachers, or somewhere in between.

It’s 8: 30 a.m., on a Monday: you’ve brushed your teeth, downed your first espresso, and all your smart devices have been fired up.

You’re ready to begin the workday — even if you are still in your sweats.

Yes, today’s work environment has changed due to the Coronavirus pandemic and many employers and employees have had to meet each other halfway to keep businesses running.

There’s no mistake about it, workplace flexibility is a necessity nowadays for employees whether they’re office workers, teachers, or somewhere in between.

Working Remotely

After a year and a half, many employees have embraced working remotely with Dr. Phil playing in the background and having their dogs at their feet while banging away on their keyboards.

Even though many states have reopened various sectors of their economies, companies are still letting employees work remotely and they plan to continue the practice post-pandemic.

This makes many employees happy as it allows them to better balance their home and work life, feel safer in uncertain times, and still be able to earn a paycheck.

Employers too jumped on the bandwagon and continue to be okay with employees working remotely in many cases.

A Gartner survey reports 80% of employers are fine with letting employees work remotely at least a portion of their workday after the pandemic, and 47% will allow employees to work from home full-time.

In a PwC survey of 669 CEOs, 78% believe remote work will be the norm moving forward.

Long-term Home Workers

Employees say they are gung-ho to continue working remotely even post-pandemic. According to a FlexJobs survey, 65% of respondents say they want to be full-time remote employees post-pandemic, and 31% would like to see a hybrid remote work environment.

Bottom line: 96% want some form of remote work as things slowly return to normal.

Also, when surveyed in the FlexJobs report, 27% of those employees said they’d cut their pay between 10 and 20% to remain remote employees while another 81 percent said they’d be more faithful to their employer if they had more flexible work choices.

More Productive at Home

If you thought working remotely meant more slacking off and less productivity, you’d be wrong.

Working remotely can be quite productive and much more so than in a workplace, said one research report.

For instance, it’s been reported that businesses lose around $600 billion a year to workplace distractions, however, remote workers are 35% to 40% more productive than their in-office counterparts.

According to the FlexJobs survey, 95% said their productivity has been higher or the same working from home, and 51% report being even more productive when working remotely. Why?

  • Fewer interruptions
  • More focused time
  • Quieter work environment
  • More comfortable workspace
  • Not being involved in office politics

 Better Mental Health

Lastly, working from home can be good for one’s mental health.

In a survey with Mental Health America, respondents said with flexible work options and by working remotely they have much better mental health.  

In contrast, employees without any flexible work options are almost two times more likely to have poor or extremely poor mental health.

Of those who do have flexible work options, 48% report their work-life balance is excellent or exceptionally good, and 54% have the emotional support they need at work, compared to 36% and 45% for those without flexible work.

Happy Workers

Working remotely can also make for a happier employee; in the height of the pandemic during 2020 remote workers reported a Workforce Happiness Index of 75 out of 100, compared to 71 for in-office employees.

In the end, it appears working remotely will continue and may even grow.                                 

A recent Upwork survey reports, 41.8% of the American workforce continues to work remotely and although 26.7% will still be working from home through 2021, 36.2 million Americans or 22% of the workforce will be working remotely by 2025. This equates to an 87% increase from those working remotely before the lockdowns and lock-ins were the norms.

Once thought of as a luxury, working remotely amid a worldwide pandemic has taught us flexibility in the workplace is a necessity and the new normal.

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