What Are Employees Looking for in Their Company’s Flexible Working Policy?

Guest Post
Guest Post|

By Aqua Zumaraite, Operations and Partnerships at Flexa Careers

Building a flexible working policy can be quite a task, but it comes with great benefits. How can you decide which benefits are right for you and your people? How can you make sure your benefits are attracting new talent? 

Flexibility can look so different to each and every one of your team, so it’s important that you listen to them first. Offering flexible working isn’t just about going hybrid or remote; it’s also about listening to what your people want, allowing them to work how they work best, and trusting them to do so. 

Data shows that 54% of workers are planning on leaving their current jobs if they are not offered flexibility post-pandemic, showing us just how much people have come to appreciate the benefits of flexible working over the past couple of years. 

Trying to write a hybrid workplace policy for your team? Hubble and Flexa’s 6-point checklist has got you covered. The guide outlines clear actionable steps, insights from People Ops experts and also offers bonus resources. Download your free copy today!

So, what are the most important, flexible benefits that are in demand right now

When onboarding new users to Flexa, candidates get to fill out a short survey, telling us what flexibility and what kind of benefits they are most interested in for their next role. The data from these surveys is updated daily, with over 380k users on-site to date. 

Over the last two years, 55% of candidates have expressed interest in fully-remote working. To no surprise, a large 66% of candidates mention some flexibility on working hours as being a priority. This small change in your working policy can give your employees so much more freedom in their day to day life, massively improving their work-life balance.

Over the last four months, users have selected the ability to ‘Work from Anywhere’ as the most desired benefit. 87% of candidates are looking for work in companies that would allow them to work from anywhere in the world. This is a big difference compared to the remote (in-country) working desire over the last two years being at 55%.

Following this, 45% of users are looking for companies that provide WFH allowance and 30% of people are looking for the choice to work compressed hours. Allowing your teams to have freedom over their workplace while still collaborating with their coworkers has become so much easier with the Hubble Pass ‘social features‘. 

There are inevitably days where people want to switch off and work on their own, and there are days where they feel like meeting their colleagues and spending the day together. Flexibility is all about allowing your employees to have those options.

The Hubble Pass ‘social features’ allow you to integrate your Hubble account with your company Slack and a calendar app of your choice, so you can see when and where your team plans to work—and easily join them in one click. Discover more here.

What about the “unlimited leave” perk?

Another highly ranking benefit is “unlimited leave”, with 26% of candidates choosing it as a crucial perk. But interestingly, unlimited leave isn’t always the glamorised perk it seems to be.

It has been discussed that employees with unlimited leave end up taking less annual leave than those with a set number of days. It can create an imbalance between staff taking holidays, with some taking considerably more than others.

Often, unlimited leave can create anxiety in employees not knowing how much leave they can realistically take before seeming like they are taking advantage of the policy. This can easily lead to them making excuses as to why it is just not a good time to take annual leave this week or this month due to the workload, which, let’s be honest—will always seem like there’s enough of it. Our advice?

This shows them that you care about their work-life balance and make sure they take all the annual leave they are given. 

Introduce company shut-down periods

Once or twice a year, give all your employees a week off to reset and not stress about logging on and ensuring the team is keeping on top of your work. Doing this every six months or so will give your team a chance to truly switch off, and your business will only benefit from the break!

Every year at Flexa, we have two company shut down periods—one in August and one in December, allowing the whole team to reset, spend time with their families, friends, pets or travelling. And we mean it when we say everyone…founders need time off too!

Allow your employees to have flexibility around their work hours

Life happens; we all know that. So, recognising that you have a diverse team of people whose lives look completely different outside of their working hours will give you the chance to show your people that you care about them.

It’ll also show you prioritise their work-life balance by not constraining them to a 9-5 block, but rather choosing to reward them for their output, not their working hours. 

Employees don’t want to have to ask for more flexibility

Lastly, job sharing (17%) and dog-friendly offices (15%) come next on candidate benefit selections when browsing new opportunities. 

Unfortunately, there are companies out there that claim that they are flexible when, in fact, any form of flexibility has to be requested in advance. There are many reasons why this type of approach to flexible working just isn’t sustainable. 

According to a 2021 YouGov survey, one quarter (24%) of office-based respondents stated that they would not ask for flexible working if it wasn’t already offered at their company. This study involved 2018 adults, of which 837 were office workers and those whose jobs were desk-based.

It’s clear that employees do not want to ask for flexibility. The biggest reason for this is the fear of being perceived a certain way by your senior managers. Women are most concerned that they will be perceived as working less hard (38%) if they ask for flexible working. In contrast, men are most concerned that asking for flexibility will negatively impact career progression (36%). 

Keen to write an inclusive workplace policy for your whole team? Hubble and Flexa has just the thing for you. Our co-hosted webinar tackled this topic head on, and our expert panel of People Ops pros gave insider tips you won’t want to miss. Access the recording for free today!

Summary

When looking at how flexible working policies impact talent attraction, the survey found there is a strong preference for flexibility to be mentioned up front in a job description, with a whopping 71% of people more likely to apply for a role that directly mentions flexible working.

It is clear that with flexible working becoming the new norm, having a flexible working policy is becoming inevitable, not only for improving efficiency, retention and overall happiness of your employees, but also for attracting new talent.

A note from Hubble

It’s true. Writing or (rewriting!) a flexible workplace policy is so much easier said than done. Not only is it crucial to get right, but the new wave of hybrid and remote working means that policies need to cater to all employees.

But while each policy will vary from company to company, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. At Hubble and Flexa, we’ve made this easier by putting together a 6-step checklist that’ll take you through the entire process of creating an inclusive hybrid workplace policy—from start to finish.

You can tick off your To-Do’s as you go, access a list of invaluable external resources and get expert guidance on how to: 

  • Talk to your team members 
  • Establish your non-negotiables 
  • Start the first draft 
  • Publish your first iteration 

and much, much more. You can instantly download your free copy by clicking the link below. It’s that simple!

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