According to a recent survey carried out by PwC across their global workforce (44,000 employees); Generation Y workers (employees born between 1980 and 1995), would choose workplace flexibility, work/life balance and the opportunity for overseas assignments over financial rewards. As this generation will make up 50% of the working population by 2020, PwC believes it is vital organisations understand this generation and realise they may have to completely re-think how they attract and manage their workers or risk losing talent to companies that do adapt.
The impending skills gap, when more employees will be retiring than entering the workforce, plus the increase in the numbers of workers at the peak of their career having to balance the demands of work and caring for both a younger family and ageing parents also means it will become more important than ever for employers to fully engage their employees in order to reduce the effects of these pressures and offer flexible working.
With flexible working moving ever higher up the agenda for many organisations, it does look as though employers are getting the message. Some research carried out by XpertHR has found over 3/4 of responding employers grant between 75% and 100% of requests from employees to work flexibly, while almost half said that up to 20% of their employees already work flexibly.
It is widely acknowledged that flexible working improves employee engagement and reduces absence but it is important that it is managed in a way that is fair and unbiased if you don’t want to breed resentment in your organisation. It has to be available across the organisation from ‘shop floor’ to senior executives. It is no longer acceptable for senior executives to have their own unofficial flexible working pattern whilst other employees are expected to work 24/7.
By supporting flexible working with a real-time, effective workforce management system, employers will find it much easier. Some of the issues cited by employers like the complexity of scheduling working hours, making it seem fair and equitable and tracking employee hours worked can all be addressed with the help of an automated solution that can provide both managers and employees with information whenever or wherever employees may be working.