A 2017 workplace report examining employee benefits found that one perk stood out among the rest: workplace flexibility with employees demanding more autonomy and control over their working lives.

53% of employees said that a role that provides greater work-life balance is “very important” and 51% said they would change jobs for one that offered them flexi-time.

What’s clear is that the rigid, traditional workplace structure is no longer working for employees who want recognition and support of their lifestyles outside of work.

Being flexible can take many forms: remote work, reduced hours or a compressed working week.

The recent study of 16,000 Chinese travel agency employees found that working from home led to a 13% performance increase, attributed to less distractions and the increased expectation of producing results. Working from home can be beneficial both for businesses and individuals.

Three things to check off when creating a flexible and productive work culture:

Focus on results

Buy-in is required for a flexible workplace. Educate managers and leadership on the productivity, retention and satisfaction gains to be had. Help them make the psychological shift towards results-based performance rather than who is simply visible.

Check the wider culture

Many of employers’ concerns about flexible working may actually be connected to deeper issues. Low morale and engagement on site will of course spill over into any flexible working arrangements so address the wider culture in your workplace to ensure working from home doesn’t become hiding at home.

Consider everyone

For many flexible working is still considered a special privilege for select groups. But in the modern workplace, with multiple generations and varying needs, consider everyone, not just people with families. Millennials value a high degree of autonomy over their working conditions and semi-retired employees may also benefit from a more flexible arrangement.

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