The COVID-19 pandemic has hastened the arrival of flexible working. Now that people are beginning to return to work, flexible working practices will also be the best way to keep employees safe, productive, and happy. In this article, Jason Kulpa explains why businesses should implement a flexible work plan from now on.
In a recent report, The new shape of work is flexibility for all, American asset management firm, Mercer, points out that “more than 90% of employers say that productivity has stayed the same or improved with employees working remotely, and 82% say they will implement flexible working at a greater scale post-pandemic.”
When thinking about flexible work practices, it is important to remember that working from home is not the only flexibility practice that should be considered. Not all jobs can be done from a remote location, and for those employees who can’t work from home, look for other ways they can enjoy flexibility. Providing employees with more input about when they work and what they do can still leverage the benefits of a flexible work plan.
There are three particularly good reasons why flexible work practices are likely to continue well past the current global pandemic. These reasons are health concerns, employee productivity, and employee quality of life. We will take a look at each of these.
Health experts believe the probability that the coronavirus will ever disappear completely is unlikely. They say it transmits too easily in the human population. It is more likely that we will experience waves of ongoing low-level endemic disease. Providing flexible work from home and reduced workplace employee load levels will serve as health safety precautions well into the future.
As Mercer pointed out, 90% of employers say productivity has stayed the same or improved during the pandemic. Many factors contribute to these high levels of productivity during flexible work practices, not the least of which is employees who feel trusted and empowered in an uncertain environment will work harder. The Mercer study points out that employees work, on average, three additional hours per day when working from home.
Employee quality of life
Not all employees want to work from home, at least not all the time. A recent survey indicates that only 19% of North American employees want to say goodbye to the office forever. Quality of life affects both productivity and employee retention. Many companies spend large sums on recruiting the best employees. Allowing them to participate in a flexible work plan will lower employee turnover rates, all the while increasing or maintaining productivity.
Nearly everyone agrees that life and work will never return to what we once called normal. Our current level of restriction will certainly ease, but employers should plan for a hybrid model of on-premise and off-premise workers. Allowing employees that must be on-site to choose their hours will reduce crowds at the workplace and help avoid COVID-19 flare-ups. Flex hours that allow employees to meet their personal needs and shared caseloads will all be a part of what we may someday call our new-normal.
About Jason Kulpa
Jason Kulpa is a serial entrepreneur and the Founder and CEO of UE.co, San Diego’s Fastest Growing Business multi-year award winner, and a Certified Great Place to Work multi-year winner. Mr. Kulpa is a San Diego’s two-time winner of the Most Admired CEO Award of the San Diego Business Journal and a semi-finalist for the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur award. Under Mr. Kulpa’s leadership, in 2018, his teams volunteered at over 24 events and worked side-by-side to improve the San Diego community. They hosted a gala dinner benefiting individuals with autism, cheered on Special Olympic athletes as they broke their records on the track, and brought school supplies and cold-weather gear to students impacted by homelessness. Jason’s mission is to bring awareness, support, and inclusion for special needs causes.