A Deloitte survey of 1,000 white-collar workers found that 94% of respondents would benefit from flexibility in the workplace, stating that it could improve their mental health and their work-life balance.
Still, 30% of the workers said that consequences to their professional growth would prevent them from using flexible work opportunities.
It is clear that while many companies have made the effort to introduce flexible work policies, leaders are not adequately supporting them enough, leaving employees wary of using them. So how can management encourage their teams to embrace this new way of working?
According to Joan C. Williams, a professor at the University of California’s Hastings College of Law, the reason why workers do not use flexible policies is because it resulted in negative consequences, such as wage penalties, lower performance evaluations and fewer promotions.
That is why it is important for leaders to let their employees know that there are no repercussions for using flexible policies. This ensures trust in your employees and allows them to feel more secure in their position.
Additionally, it is equally important for managers to have the proper training in dealing with flexible workers. This includes educating them on the benefits of flexible work, such as improved productivity, retention and job satisfaction.
“Leaders can drive well-being within their organization by taking an inclusive approach to work flexibility and offering options that meet a variety of diverse needs,” said Terri Cooper, chief inclusion officer for Deloitte. “Through adaptable programs and supportive leadership, professionals will feel empowered to use flexible work options without fear of consequence.”