2021 was quit­tin’ time in Amer­i­ca.  Last year alone over 47.4 mil­lion Amer­i­cans quit their jobs. This year, employ­ees seem­ing­ly have the upper hand against employ­ers.  The Turnover Tsuna­mi, a.k.a. The Great Res­ig­na­tion, has forced a reck­on­ing with the work­place and few employ­ers have come away unscathed.  Orga­ni­za­tions are now shift­ing pri­or­i­ties to make employ­ee well-being and reten­tion the pri­or­i­ty.  The fact of the mat­ter is, after health insur­ance, the most desir­able perks and ben­e­fits are those that offer flex­i­bil­i­ty while improv­ing work/life bal­ance. So, what is it that employ­ees real­ly want to achieve a bet­ter work/life balance?

  • Hybrid Work – Work­ing remote­ly some days in the week and at a phys­i­cal office on others
  • Flex­i­bil­i­ty– Being able to occa­sion­al­ly shift hours that best fit an employee’s life

Why Hybrid Work?

In 2020, peo­ple had to change the way they worked overnight and turned their kitchen tables into a ful­ly func­tion­ing office.  Many employ­ees dis­cov­ered they were more pro­duc­tive at home.  On the oth­er hand, some miss the social nature of the office and work­ing col­lab­o­ra­tive­ly in per­son.  Because of these mixed perks of in office vs. work­ing at home, hybrid work can offer the best of both worlds.

Accord­ing to a sur­vey by the Inter­na­tion­al Work­place Group, 72% of office work­ers would pre­fer a hybrid way of work­ing to a full-time return to the office – even if revert­ing to Mon­day – Fri­day rou­tine meant earn­ing more money.

Why Flex­i­ble Work?

When the work­force went home because of the COVID-19 pan­dem­ic, it caused a change in the expec­ta­tions of employ­ees and there­fore the way com­pa­nies approach their work envi­ron­ments.  The pan­dem­ic prompt­ed job seek­ers to seek flex­i­bil­i­ty that allows them some lev­el of con­trol of their time.  Gene Lan­zoni at Guardian said “Time is the most impor­tant ben­e­fit an employ­er can pro­vide.  For many of us the pan­dem­ic afford­ed us more time, and we’re real­ly not will­ing to give that back.  We had a taste of a more bal­anced life.”

Bal­ance has nev­er been more impor­tant.  60% of fam­i­lies with chil­dren have both par­ents work­ing and for these fam­i­lies, being able to work from home with flex­i­bil­i­ty is non­nego­tiable. Flex­i­bil­i­ty can allow care­givers to log off from 3 p.m. – 8 p.m. and then come back and do some work after the kids are in bed.  When employ­ees have more con­trol of their work sched­ules, they can free up time to take care of things that pop up in their per­son­al lives – whether it’s run­ning an errand, tak­ing a child to the den­tist, or being home for a delivery.

In the end, a flex­i­ble sched­ule con­tributes to a high­er qual­i­ty of life.  Employ­ees don’t have to put their careers on hold to focus on their fam­i­lies or edu­ca­tion.  This free­dom is more valu­able in the long run than a paycheck.

Work­er reten­tion is more impor­tant than ever in 2022.  Build­ing a good work­place cul­ture based on the cur­rent inter­ests of employ­ees plays a sig­nif­i­cant role for the suc­cess of the com­pa­ny.  Busi­ness­es now live in an employ­ee-dri­ven job mar­ket.  It is essen­tial that as an employ­er you know what ben­e­fits your employ­ees val­ue to keep them hap­py, healthy and work­ing for you.