Don’t Kill Your Remote Work Policy: Why Flexibility Matters for Talent Retention
When I joined Lucas Group back in 2014, I couldn’t imagine not working out of our company office each day. I relished my coworker connections and clear delineation between home and work.
However, I soon realized my situation would benefit from a little more flexibility. At the time, I had a child in middle school who needed to be driven to sporting events and extracurricular activities, along with other responsibilities that needed attention during standard “working hours.” I also found myself taking on more work after those hours, and clocking 9 to 5 at a desk each day no longer made sense.
After proving myself in the workplace, Lucas Group offered me the opportunity to work remotely– and I haven’t looked back. Not only did I save nearly two hours each day by eliminating my commute, but I could also adjust my schedule to better align with my personal responsibilities. I quickly became more productive working from home than being in the office. Most importantly, I have a better, more flexible balance between my personal and professional lives– and it’s one of the reasons I’ve enjoyed growing my career with Lucas Group.
Why Flexible Remote Work Policies Matter for Talent Retention
This past year, we’ve had a crash course in remote work. Now, with cities opening back up, companies are starting to bring their teams back to the office. But mandating that employees appear in person may not be the best approach.
A recent survey of 1,000 U.S. adults found that 39% would consider quitting if their employers weren’t flexible about remote work, according to the poll by Morning Consult on behalf of Bloomberg News. That figure jumped to 49% for Millennials and Gen Z.
Of course, as the last year has shown us, remote work isn’t a great option for everyone. Some of us need the socialization and camaraderie of being together with coworkers or find that our homes are too distraction-filled to truly focus on work. There’s no “one-size-fits-all” solution, which is why a flexible policy can be so beneficial for talent recruitment and retention. As I can attest, having an employer that’s willing to be flexible makes a huge difference for professional satisfaction. When employees feel supported by their employers, they’re more engaged, productive and effective.
Towards a More Flexible Future: Supporting a Better Work-Life Balance
Whether your company is bringing everyone back, embracing a hybrid workforce model or eliminating the office altogether, these are some different approaches that can help your employees enjoy a more flexible workday:
- Get creative. Even if a full-time return to the office is a business essential, giving employees the option to have staggered start times, longer lunches, or the ability to run errands in the afternoon can help.
- Gamify activities. Lucas Group offers virtual yoga, which is a great way to get people moving during the day. You can also create step challenges or other workouts to encourage physical activity. Or, combine exercise with productivity — what if you offered an incentive where whoever had the most sales in a given period received a Peloton?
- Host lunch hours. Are you worried about losing coworker connections if half the team is in person and the other half is remote? I spoke with a woman at one company who said her bosses would order lunches from UberEats and then share a lunch hour together. It’s nice to keep everyone socializing, even if they’re not all physically in the same place.
- Encourage breaks. One downside to remote work is that our professional and personal lives tend to meld into one. Support a healthy work-life separation by encouraging employees to take breaks and actually power down at the end of the workday.
Has the last year changed how your company thinks about remote work? I invite you to share about your approach in the comments below.