The days of clocking in at 9 and out at 5 seem to be waning. Time attributes much of this change to the habits of Generation Y and technological advances.
New technologies allow employees to complete their work from anywhere. Smart phones allow email correspondence, the cloud allows for storage and access to documents from anywhere, and many airplanes provide internet access even at 35,000 feet. The need to actually be at your desk seems to diminish with each year.
As Time notes, a Vodafone UK study recently found that 90 percent of employers allow flexible work schedules rather than the traditional structured work day.
Here are the magazine’s three reasons that business leaders should consider incorporating flexible work arrangements (if they haven’t already):
- Gen Y workers won’t accept jobs where they can’t access Facebook – the internet is integral to Gen Y lives, and the social media connection is a necessary one for them (social media access was more important to Gen Y employees than salary according to a survey from Cisco)
- Gen Y-ers value workplace flexibility over more money – 37 percent of Gen-Yers would take a pay cut if it gave them more work flexibility
- Gen Y workers are always connected to jobs through technology – technology means that work never ends and employees can always be contacted and work can be (and is) getting done
A more flexible workplace can mean happier employees who feel that they are treated with respect. And employee engagement and retention is huge.
Though flexibility is important to getting and keeping new talent, there is something to be said for the collaboration that can be done in person. If everyone were remote all the time, business processes would be difficult to complete. Not to mention, some companies will require certain staff to be on site to complete their jobs.
So, the office won’t disappear anytime soon. Flexibility just expands the workplace, encourages employees to do good work and have a balanced life.