Stay informed and ready to meet both everyday challenges and long-term planning and policy-making goals, with focused news, practical information, and strategic insights on all HR-related...
Oct. 16 -- Despite reports of high-profile companies such as Yahoo, Best Buy and HP “reining in telework programs,” these programs and other flexible work options remain popular and have a positive effect on employee engagement, motivation and satisfaction, according to a survey released Oct. 15 by global human resources association WorldatWork.
WorldatWork's Survey on Workplace Flexibility 2013 found that while workplace flexibility programs are offered by fewer organizations in 2013 than in 2010, the changes in specific programs are relatively minor and may be attributed to organizations being more strategic about the programs offered to their workforce. The survey added that only 3 percent of employers have canceled telework programs over the past two years.
“Overall, the survey shows that employers are continuing to utilize workplace flexibility programs,” said Rose Stanley, WorldatWork practice leader for benefits, work-life, flexibility and recognition. “It appears to work best in those organizations where the concept of flexibility is part of the organization's culture and where employees feel free to request flexibility as needed.”
According to the survey, which features responses from 566 WorldatWork members, employers that scored themselves as having an “established flexibility culture” reported overwhelmingly that workplace flexibility has had a positive or extremely positive impact on engagement (85 percent), motivation (84 percent) and satisfaction (92 percent). Among all companies surveyed, WorldatWork also found that most believe their workforce would say there is a positive or extremely positive effect of flexibility programs on employee engagement (64 percent), employee motivation (65 percent) and employee satisfaction (73 percent).
Moreover, Stanley told Bloomberg BNA that flexible work schedules can reduce employee turnover. “A flexible culture creates a level of autonomy” and trust that increases employee satisfaction and engagement, she said in an Oct. 16 e-mail. “The business definitely benefits from that,” Stanley said, and employees enjoying flexible options are more likely “to stay and be loyal to the business.”
Still, Stanley noted that one area of flexibility not being embraced by employers is manager training. The survey found that only 17 percent of organizations with at least one flexibility program said they provide training to managers about how to successfully manage employees with flexible work arrangements.
“Training managers on anything is always viewed as a time-consuming effort,” Stanley told Bloomberg BNA, “and employers want to make sure that any training will be value-added.”
She said that “training works best when it has the effect of showing the manager how to use flexibility as a tool to fulfill the business goals and how to manage by results instead of face time.”
Telework is offered by 88 percent of organizations, the survey revealed. It found that some form of telework, flexible start and stop times and part-time schedules are the most prevalent flexibility programs offered--with each offered by more than 80 percent of employers.
The survey also found:
• job share, career on/off ramps and phased retirement remain the least prevalent flexible work programs offered by employers;
• exempt/salaried employees have the greatest flexibility, as seven of the 13 programs mentioned in the survey are offered to exempt/salaried employees by nearly all participating organizations (more than 94 percent);
• the most prevalent flexibility programs offered to nonexempt/hourly workers are part-time schedules (93 percent), phased return from leave (93 percent), shift flexibility (91 percent) and compressed workweeks (88 percent); and
• over two-thirds (69 percent) of organizations say that career progression or development opportunities are not impacted by an employee's use of flexibility.
To contact the reporter on this story: Caryn Freeman in Washington at firstname.lastname@example.org
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Simon Nadel at email@example.com
The survey can be found at http://www.worldatwork.org/waw/adimLink?id=73898.
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)