While it may seem clear why flexible job options such as the ability to work from home are beneficial for workers, some employers may remain unsure of why flexible staffing is good for them. When employers start finding ways to add more flexibility into their workplace, they’ll not only discover that their workers are happier and more productive, they’ll find that they can choose from a wider talent pool.
For example, The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel spoke to Greg Harper, president and CEO of Runzheimer International, who explained how having more flexibility in the office has allowed him to hire the most qualified employees.
“If I’m very open to telecommuting, it opens up where I can recruit,” Harper told the news source. “If we think about Milwaukee, gosh, if you have to be in the office, well I probably am only going to recruit from a 30-mile radius. But if you can telecommute or work virtually or maybe you only need to be here one day a week, I can maybe open up that recruiting sphere a little bit more.”
Happy employees stick around
The news source also spoke to Melanie Holmes, a vice president at Manpower Group, who explained that 49 percent of employers are having a difficult time filling important jobs within their organization. These individuals may have an easier time filling these jobs and retaining talented employees if they allow them to spend some time working from home.
“If we really want to hire the best talent, we have to be flexible in where they live and where they work. With technology, people can work from anywhere now,” Holmes told The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
The Houston Chronicle explained that working from home can increase employee satisfaction and the loyalty people feel toward their company. Happy employees mean management has to spend less time advertising job openings.
It’s important that all businesses are able to prove that they care about the environment. If employers have a lot of workers that telecommute, they can show that they are actively working to reduce the number of cars on the road.
Determining best practices
Some employers may be concerned about how they will be able to tell if their workers are truly being productive while they’re away from the office. USA Today spoke to Dee Christensen, director of Washington State University’s telework program, who explained that employers need to focus on “deliverables” which are quantifiable pieces they can use to show that an employee is working hard.
The news source also interviewed one man who has been working out of his home for a variety of companies for years. He said he believes telecommuting programs work best when employers learn the value of results and don’t put too much emphasis on trying to determine exactly how much time an employee spent on a project. Good work is good work, and if an employee is turning out quality work, that’s the most important thing.
Christensen explained that some employers may be concerned that people who work from home may not always be available when they need them. One way to get around this is for telecommuting employees to have an “in-office buddy” who has their personal phone numbers and can always reach them if anything urgent comes up.
The world is changing, and thanks to all of the technological advancements that have been made in the past few years, people are able to improve their work-life balance without sacrificing the quality of their work by working from home. Employers who are interested in recruiting a wider range of employees while retaining their current talent should look into offering more flexible options.