Work Is Not A Place: Why Flexible Work Options Work

When Yahoo! decided to axe their work-from-home options for their employees, we talked about best practices for making work-from-home work. But we didn’t talk about the benefits of flexible work options for your employees.

Citrix Senior Vice President, Brett Caine, recently noted in a blog post that “today’s workplace is increasingly not about a specific place and time – it is about the work we do.” Doesn’t it make sense to pay employees for the work they actually do, not the amount of time they spent in your offices?

I work from home and I’m a big fan of the flexibility it offers me. I’m given tasks and as long as I complete them before deadline, it doesn’t matter when I do the work or where. I can work from a cafe in the morning, or from my kitchen table at night. If it had an internet connection, I could work from Mars. It’s the best work setup I’ve ever had. Citrix’s research says 83% of companies will use a mobile workstyle strategy by 2014. So what’s so great about flexible workstyles? Citrix crunched the numbers:

  • Flexible work programs reduce unscheduled absences by 63%
  • Stress is twice as high for employees without flex work options
  • Flex employees are 55% more likely to go the extra mile for employers
  • Turnover is double the rate for no-flex workers versus flex workers
  • 72% of job candidates pick the job with the most flexibility

As we’ve covered on this site before, having happy employees often directly correlates to higher profits. With flexible work options, employers can reduce costs related to:

  • work space  (less is needed);
  • sick time  (less is used);
  • productivity  (employees are more productive);
  • resources  (less computer space and access are needed, for example);
  • increased hours of customer service;
  • employee safety  (fewer accidents at the job site and commuting);
  • environmental requirements  (reducing the number of commuters);
  • relocation of employees  (teleworking may avoid relocating workers).
What do you think?
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Do you allow your employees flexibility? How has it worked out for you? Let us know in the comments!

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Vincenzo Ravina is a writer, journalist and giraffe enthusiast from Halifax, Nova Scotia. You can learn more at his website,, or follow him on Twitter at @RavinaSBT.

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