The Discrepancy Between Management and Employee Views on Work-Life Flexibility

iStock_000004954142_SmallWhen it comes to the work-life flexibility your employees seek, are employers really “getting it” – or is something big getting in the way?

WorkplaceTrends and CareerArc may have the answer. The results of their recent national survey on workplace flexibility revealed a big discrepancy between management’s and employees’ views. While 67 percent of HR professionals believe that their employees have a balanced work-life, almost half (45 percent) of employees (and 35 percent of job seekers) feel that they don’t have enough time each week to do personal activities.

These results aren’t anecdotal, either. The study mentioned above included the responses of 1,087 professionals (both employed and unemployed) as well as 116 HR professionals.

Clearly, something big is getting in the way of employees’ work-life satisfaction. And it’s called technology. The same tools which have allowed employers to facilitate greater work flex – email, videoconferencing, mobile technology and cloud-based solutions – have also allowed employees’ work life to bleed into home life.

Instead of closing up shop at the end of the day and completely disconnecting from work, many professionals feel pressured to make themselves available to their employers 24/7. In fact:

  • One in five employees surveyed spend an average of over 20 hours per week working outside of the office on personal time.
  • Sixty-four percent of HR professionals surveyed expect employees to be reachable outside the office on their personal time.

That’s not a good thing, because the study indicated that flexibility is even more important to employees than employers may think. Just half of HR professionals ranked workplace flexibility as the most important benefit they believe employees want, but fully three-quarters of employees ranked it as the benefit most important to them.

To be an employer of choice, you must do your part in closing the gap – and minimizing the discrepancy between your, and your employees’, view of work-life flexibility. In an earlier post, Corps Team shared three tips to ensure your flexibility offerings hit the mark, by aligning employer and employee perceptions. You can read the full post here, or a condensed overview below:

  • Ask. What flexibility issues matter most to your employees? Hold a meeting to open the lines of communication, explore possibilities and determine which ideas make the most sense for you and your team.
  • Survey. Distribute a short, anonymous survey that asks employees to rate the value of current and proposed flex-work options. Welcome respondents’ suggestions for making your workplace more flexible.
  • Research. Do your homework to make sure you understand the mindsets and unique work-flex needs of knowledge workers, accounting professionals, business consultants – or any other type of professional you employee.

As workplace flexibility experts, Corps Team knows how valuable work-life flexibility is to high performers. That’s why talented professionals from coast to coast join our team! If you need A-level talent for assignments, projects or direct hire, check out our flexible professional staffing and search options.

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