Flexibility in the workplace is not a fad or trend with a short-term expiration date. Employees of all types have experienced the freedom that comes with flexibility, and they don’t want to return to working environments that don’t support it. 

However, a disparity can exist between what employers think staff wants in regard to flexibility and what employees actually need. Understanding what employees want when it comes to flexibility is critical to your success as an employer because it lets you create a workplace culture and benefits that attract and retain top talent. 

flexibility is a new reality for employers

Many employers believed extreme flexibility, such as that afforded by remote work options, was a short-term trend supported mostly by pandemic needs. The reality is that job seekers and employees increasingly wanted more flexible schedules and work environments even before COVID-19. 

The pandemic simply sped up the manner in which employers implemented such solutions and made everyone aware that they could be offered and work well.

Almost 60% of white-collar Canadian workers recently said they want the ability to set their working hours. With the majority of Canadian talent looking for more flexibility in the workplace, businesses that don’t integrate these changes put themselves at a disadvantage in the hiring market. 

Smiling man sitting on a couch holding a notebook and a pen.
Smiling man sitting on a couch holding a notebook and a pen.

The changes must also be integrated for the long term and not as a quick fix for current needs or what is seen as fad demands from the applicant pool.

It’s not enough to provide a few lackluster flexibility perks, either. Employees are looking for options such as the ability to move seamlessly and almost at will between remote and office working environments, flexible schedules that let them attend to work-life balance, and more paid time off. 

Talent is more likely to join organizations that offer a higher amount of paid time off, for example, than those that just offer any time off at all. 

Ultimately, Canadian workers in offices and industrial environments alike want more autonomy, especially when it comes to deciding when they work and how they meet the goals set for them.

more flexibility leads to higher-quality employees

When you do the work to create a flexible workplace, you can attract and hire better candidates. You’re also more likely to retain top talent, as good employees will leave a position if they find another that meets their needs and provides better flexibility. 

Companies that offer greater flexibility tend to have employees who:

  • are motivated and happy when they’re at work because they see their employers as trusting them to get the job done without micromanaging them
  • are more likely to become long-term employees, especially when the flexibility offered by their employer isn’t easily found with other companies
  • are more effective during working hours because they have the space to attend to work-life balance, including eating healthy meals, sleeping well, exercising more and enjoying an overall-higher quality of life with friends and family
  • are more productive and less prone to burnout because of all the factors listed above

where should you start in creating flexibility in the workplace?

Start by downloading our guide, ’cracking the talent code: flexibility.’ Our guide includes:

  • information and statistics that illustrate why flexibility is so important in the current job market
  • how flexibility, or the lack of it, can impact employee engagement and talent retention
  • some tips for how you can get started improving flexibility in your workplace

Simply complete the form below to get your free download and learn how to make your business even more competitive in this fast-paced market. 

discover more randstad resources for attraction and retention

Read our other articles to find out what workplace flexibility means to workers and check out our case study on how flexibility helps you hire and retain employees.

You can also check out the other guides we’ve written on this topic to inform a comprehensive strategy for attracting and retaining talent in 2023.

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