[Excerpt] A recent study of more than 1,500 workers found that nearly a third considered flexibility to be the most important factor when considering employment offers. Surprisingly, employers are just as quick to sing praises of the benefits associated with accommodating their workforce. When asked in a survey, 91 percent of HR professionals agreed that flexible work arrangements positively influence employee engagement, job satisfaction, and retention.
Although a few firms still contemplate whether or not the benefits outweigh the costs of increasing workplace flexibility accommodations, most organizations have already moved past these initial rounds of deliberation, and are beginning to calculate the implications. Eighty percent of all businesses surveyed by WorldatWork offered flexible work option arrangements to employees. However, only 37% of those surveyed report they have a formal, written philosophy or policy to support employee flexibility options. Currently, firms are faced with two real issues as they continue on the path of embracing workplace flexibility. First, how can an organization create a culture that maximizes as well as sustains the benefits of workplace flexibility? Secondly, what are some of the challenges an organization should be careful to avoid or mitigate when building out workplace flexibility?