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  • Lightning HR Solutions Inc.

Why the Future of Work Lies in Workplace Flexibility

These past two years have undoubtedly been a whirlwind whether you’re an employer, a job seeker, or an employee. With new challenges and changes made to the labour market – one of the most impactful has been the shift from working in the office to working from home.

In early 2021, it was reported that 32% of Canadian employees were working most of their hours from home. As an employer, now that the pandemic restrictions are starting to ease, you may be wondering if you should continue offering your employees a work from home option, either through a fully-remote or hybrid work environment.

According to a recent study conducted by Statistics Canada – on workers’ who shifted to remote work during the pandemic – 43% of Canadian workers employed at large firms in the commercial sector stated that they would like to continue on a fully remote or hybrid model.

As an employer, you may be wondering why we are seeing an increase in candidates looking for work-from-home options or the ability to be fully remote. Here’s how adopting new ways of working can help attract top talents and increase employee retention.

So why are we seeing an increase in employees handing in their two-week notice?

There is a reluctance to go back to work in the office after almost two years at home according to a new study from the non-profit Angus Reid Institute. 56% of those currently working from home say they would look for a new job if asked to return to the office, including 23% who say they would quit immediately. This percentage became 29% when only millennials and Gen Z were surveyed, the most of any age group.

1. Work-life balance is essential to employees

As an employer, it’s important to understand that people's relationship with work has dramatically changed. Lifestyle changes and daily routines have emerged, prioritizing a work-life balance that was lacking before. According to a study done at the end of 2021, 70% of Canadians working remotely were highly satisfied with the amount of time spent with their families, and 75% of Canadians said they could maintain a positive work-life balance through fully-remote work.

It is crucial to take care of one's mental health during challenging times, and it has been proven that working remotely makes a difference in the quality of many people’s lives. Pre-pandemic, the mindset that working a 9-5 job was inevitable. However, with the flexibility to work from anywhere, workers can plan out their workdays according to personal schedules, allowing for more time to fit in activities that will increase their overall happiness.

2. Remote work isn’t drastically impacting productivity levels

When asked about productivity levels from working remotely, 90% of new teleworkers reported getting at least as much work from home as their usual workplace. Out of the 90%, 58% reported accomplishing the same amount of work per hour. Meanwhile, 32% reported completing more work from home than in the office. This shows that most workers find that physically being at the office full-time isn’t necessary to produce great results.

3. Wallets are staying full after a long workday – financial benefits

In a survey conducted by FlexJobs’ asking people to rank the benefits of remote work, 75% of respondents put “cost savings” as their second top benefit. It’s estimated that working from home can save on average $4,000 a year, and according to 38% of the survey takers, they estimated to have saved $5,000 while working remotely. Without the extra costs of going to work - workers can now save more.

Communication is key: Listen to your employers when deciding the best fit for your office

Although remote work has its perks, it may not be a good fit for everyone. For some people, the social aspects of work might be necessary, so they prefer a hybrid system. In addition, research has shown that women and POC are more likely to work remotely. According to a study done by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), 23% of remote female workers said they were afraid of missing out on networking and relationship-building opportunities.

As an employer, it’s important to keep in mind that not everyone will agree on everything, so transparency when communicating with your employees is critical. To stay current and to retain employees' happiness and productivity, listen to what they want their work environment to look like. We are in a time when the job market is highly candidate-driven, and job seekers are at an advantage. Coming out of the pandemic, individuals are no longer looking for a job just to pay their bills; they are looking for an opportunity that is the right fit for their lifestyle.

With all this in mind, are you ready to take on the future of work?

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