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What Employees Want: A Very Merry Flexible Workplace

Flexible Work

This holiday, give your employees the greatest gift of all: a very merry flexible workplace. Ditch the holiday parties and cheesy secret snowflakes, and give the people what they really want: 

A flexible environment, an ‘it’s-ok-to-work-from-home’ culture and better work-life balance will keep everyone happy (and let’s be honest, healthier) in the new year. Flexible workplaces can also help cut employer costs, ensuring all resources are allocated accordingly.

What Is a Flexible Workplace?

The definition of a flexible workplace is, well, somewhat flexible! It simply means that you allow employees to choose the workplace locations and/or hours that fit their lifestyles. Just some examples of a flexible workplace could include:

  • Four-day work weeks
  • Freedom to work four, 10-hour workdays (instead of five, 8-hour workdays)
  • Opportunity to work from home or at a coworking space
  • Unlimited sick or personal days
  • Flexible work hours (based on the discretion of the employee or team lead)

Why Give the Gift of a Flexible Workplace During the Holidays?

The holidays are the best time of year to roll out your flexible workplace plan. Why? Because everyone is ready to start fresh in the new year anyway. If you’ve been playing around with the idea of a flexible workplace, these reasons might just tip the scales in the favor of flexibility.

1. Increase Employee Retention in the New Year

What happens right after the December holidays? New Year’s — which really means New Year’s resolutions. Many employees wait until after the new year to look for better work opportunities because:

  • They don’t want to miss out on holiday bonuses
  • The holidays are simply too hectic to job search
  • They don’t want to worry about income during the holidays
  • New Year’s Eve brings up past resolutions and future goals for many employees

Ensure your employees stay right where they are by offering them the added bonus of a flexible workplace. Another reason to announce your decision at the holidays? Employees have something exciting to look forward to that will keep their energy up in the new year!

2. Decrease Holiday Cost

How much do employees really look forward to drinking cheap schnaps at the holiday party each year? Unless you consistently go all out for your employees at the holiday party, we recommend cutting back a little on holiday costs — or, if you’re really set on throwing a holiday office rager, use some of those tax break savings you get from allowing employees to work from home to pay for the bubbly this year.

3. Decrease Q1 Costs

Heading into the first quarter can be slightly stressful for many companies. Depending on what industry you’re in, you may have amped up your marketing game throughout the holidays and are looking for a way to cut costs in the new year.

Flexible workplaces actually save companies money. You could scale back the size of your office, save money on utilities and even get a break on insurance. Many companies can take advantage of tax breaks given to organizations that allow employees to telecommute (as doing so reduces your carbon footprint!).

(One thing to note is to remember that not all employees might feel warm and cozy about this. If you’re planning on scaling back hours or laying off employees who are no longer needed, you might want to wait until after the holidays to do so.)

Implementing a Flexible Workplace at the Holidays

While we do recommend waiting until December to roll out this plan, we also recommend a few tips to ensure everyone gets the most out of this transition in the new year.

  1. Don’t wait until the end of December to announce your flexible workplace roll-out.
  2. Do tell employees what they can expect in the new year.
  3. Don’t make employees feel like they’re not needed in the office or that their jobs are on the line if they opt-in to the flexible work setup.
  4. Do include your flexible-workplace plan as a part of employees’ holiday bonus packages! 
  5. Don’t forgo all monetary bonuses in lieu of this plan (especially if employees are expecting a bump in their checks at the end of the month!).