A man in a black suit loosening his tie

After two years of facing a life-threatening pandemic, many people started questioning their purpose and values. The pandemic seems to have been a wake-up call that has forced millions to leave their comfort zones and reinvent their lives. 

This shift in perception affected the business world with employees massively leaving their unfulfilling jobs, joining the Great Resignation wave, looking for more supportive and flexible work environments. The increased demand for more flexible work hours is related to the expansion of the remote work model. 

Once employees worldwide have experienced the freedom to choose when and where they want to work, they rarely wanted to go back to the traditional way of doing things. 

What Do the Numbers Say?

Statistics related to remote work go in favor of this claim. The numbers show that 54% of workers want to continue working from home, while 83% of business owners claim that their business started thriving when they shifted to remote work.

The flexibility to choose the time and place to work affected numerous employee retention surveys, showing that a staggering 80% of candidates would turn down the job offer if they didn’t have a flexible work schedule, while 76% of employees state that they would keep their current job if they could work flexibly. 

All these findings show that the traditional 9-5 workday may soon become a thing of the past. 

Employees in the post-Covid era tend to complete the tasks of their own accord, working asynchronously. And this is one of the most prominent changes characteristics of the fully digitized remote offices that will attract more talent in the demanding, tight market. 

So if you want to have a competitive edge in attracting top talent in the Great Resignation era make sure that you offer flexible work hours, abandoning the traditional 9-5 workday.

Do You Need to See to Believe?

Advocates for the traditional office-based work with fixed hours fear that they won’t be able to keep track of their employees performance when they are working remotely following flexible schedules. However, according to Tsedal Neeley, a Harvard Business School professor, there’s no need to hover over your employees’ heads to make sure they’re working in digitized workplaces. 

Advanced communication and project management platforms, accompanied by software for employee monitoring can help you eliminate misinterpretations, streamline your business processes, and boost productivity and time management. This is why she believes employers need to rethink the 9-5 work schedule, embrace asynchronous work, and adapt quickly to employees’ demands.

How Can You Change the Perspective?

When you decide to shift to asynchronous work at a team, department, or company level, make sure to lead by example. By doing this you’ll prove to your employees that you’re committed to the change. 

One of the great examples of a leadership initiative regarding work flexibility is a so-called S.T.A.R. (Support. Transform. Achieve. Results.) experiment. This experiment aimed to benefit the company and employees by offering them the freedom to choose when, where, and how they want to work. The positive results were noticeable within six months. The risk of burnout was lowered, while employee satisfaction and retention rates increased. And overall team productivity wasn’t affected. 

Unfortunately, the IT company where this experiment was conducted changed management. Since new management believed in traditional 9-5 work hours the S.T.A.R. experiment was terminated notwithstanding its positive effects on employee engagement and productivity.

Final Words

The world of business has changed irreversibly together with the perception of life values and purpose. Nowadays, employees want to work in environments that are flexible, supportive, and inclusive.

If you want to beat your competition in the search for top talent, try to offer remote work and flexible hours to your employees accompanied by opportunities for professional and personal growth.