Workplace Flexibility will be a key competitive advantage in the post-pandemic era

In my last blog, we discussed the challenges that working women, especially working mothers, have been facing during the COVID-19 pandemic and argued that business leaders should do all they can to retain their women employees, and that leads to offering flexible work models as a benefit to all employees.

According to multiple recent studies (e.g., Deloitte, Mercer, SHRM), flexibility of all kinds will be at the foundation of the workplace of the future (say, next 10ish years). This includes:

Location Flexibility – Where: Allows employees to work remotely, work-from-home, work from an employer worksite, or hybrid (combination of those).

Schedule Flexibility – When: Enables employees to work within flexible start & end times, flexible work days, compressed work-week, or any other arrangement.

Work-Time Flexibility – How: Supports several options including full-time positions (majority of employees), part-time, job sharing (two employees share the same job, each at reduced working hours), or time swapping (Cisco’s flavor of job sharing).

“Among the professionals whose companies offers flexible work options, 82% say they have used them. The options valued the most were flexible work hours (48%) and remote work, including work from home (41%). A compressed workweek came in at a distant third (7%).” (Deloitte, 2020).

Workplace flexibility is a mutually beneficial arrangement between employees and employers. Work-from-home and work-remote were instrumental during the COVID-19 pandemic to keep many businesses going and are expected to remain as a competitive advantage, post pandemic. “Google is saving $1 billion per year as a result of employees working from home” policy (LA Times 2021). 48% of global HR leaders surveyed stated that their 2021 top priority is concentrated on “reinventing flexibility in all its guises” (Mercer 2021).

My next blog will cover job sharing work model in more details.