Flexible Working Strategies Boosts Employee Satisfaction

by: Nichole Gunn May 2, 2011

Last year, Inc. Magazine broke down 10 of the most important workplace features employers need to provide to ensure employee satisfaction, on that list was flexible working hours. To backup last year’s top 10 picks, a new survey conducted by Regus, a global leader in flexible workplace solutions, shows that companies recognize the flexibility factor and are taking action.

Regus’ global research consisted of 17,000 companies from 80 countries and demonstrates that 85 percent of U.S. businesses are now providing some type of flexible workplace incentive. In addition, 62 percent of the respondents find that this form of employee incentive is more cost-effective than a fixed office-hours setting, and also offers other associated benefits.

Businesses that offer flexible work schedules see a rise in employee satisfaction and motivation, which in turn boosts productivity and employee retention. It was found that 75 percent of employees who benefit from a flexible work schedule “have a stronger work-life balance.” which helps lead to the employer benefits mentioned.

Other statistics from the survey show:

  • 50 percent of the participating companies feel certain that “flexible work environments improve the quality of work.”
  • 25 percent feel that providing this type of employee incentive helps the company handle growth and expansion.
  • 30 percent believe that a flexible incentive strategy helps the business reach a broader section of new talent.

Regus’ regional vice president Sande Golgart reported, "It's truly good news for everyone that flexible work has become the norm. Everyone benefits from this, not just the employers and employees, but families, wider society and even the environment." She went on to say that it’s the first study to offer “conclusive statistical evidence on the availability of flexible working and the value derived from associated benefits."

While these statistics are encouraging, the Regus study did find that 35 percent of the U.S. respondents provide the flexible-hours incentive to senior staff only. Interestingly, the study also found that ‘trust’ in the flexible work environment is still a major problem that companies need to work on.

Statistics from the study, based on Canadian businesses show:

  • 88 percent of Canadian businesses provide a type of flexible working environment.
  • 45 percent of the respondents “provide such an option, which exceeds the 40 percent among the rest of the global companies.”

Discussing the study results with the Toronto Sun, Regus regional vice president Wes Lenci explained, “Flexible working becoming the norm is truly good news for everyone because its benefits are so significant and widespread. Beyond just the employers and employees, families, wider society and even the environment experience improvements."