When companies have a diverse workforce, they enjoy 2.3 times higher cash flow. Despite this, 41% of managers feel they’re “too busy” to come up with diversity and inclusion initiatives. Luckily, offering flexible work schedules is one way overtaxed managers can cater to a diverse team’s needs.
Many members of underrepresented communities, whether they’re differently abled, a person of color, or from another minority group, aren’t represented in the workplace because they’re unable to work traditional hours.
Businesses that do allow for flexible work schedules will attract a more diverse pool of candidates, have happier, more productive employees, and take advantage of that 2.3 times higher cash flow.
What about the employees themselves, though? What are the benefits of flexible work schedules for them?
They don’t sacrifice time with family
74% of homemakers would return to work if they had access to flexible work schedules. 76% would if they could work from home.
Many parents want to return to work but are unable to when they have young children. The more flexible you allow their work schedule to be, the more you can tap into this talent pool.
If you have clients overseas, this can be beneficial because you’ll have representatives who can accommodate different time zones. That way, you can give support or continue the sales process outside of your standard working hours.
They can make the best use of their skills
One of the biggest benefits of working with underrepresented talent is the additional skills they bring to the table. Have you ever considered that the parent of four children could be a great negotiator? Or a patient manager?
Members of underrepresented communities often have untapped or beneficial skills, such as greater empathy and compassion. This can help you create a more open, supportive workplace. In addition, it will help employees to fulfill their potential at every stage of their careers.
Businesses with a more diverse workforce are also better at problem solving. A diverse workforce can help you come up with better solutions that stand out against your competition.
They have time to grow their skills
It’s harder to train a mindset than it is to train skills. So, if you hire someone who’s open to learning and eager to do so, offering flexible work schedules can allow them to grow their skills on their own time. This could make them more likely to stick around. It’s a simple way to show you support them and want them on your team long-term.
They can work on a schedule that fits their brains
Some people are not their most productive selves when they work from 9am until 5pm. Some of us are far more productive when we start earlier or later. Forcing ourselves to work a typical 9-5 schedule can lead to stress, lower productivity, sleeplessness, and even burnout.
When we can work around our bodies’ natural rhythms, and we get the right amount of sleep, it makes us calmer and more productive. That way we’re not fighting against what our minds and bodies are begging us to do.
They can work from anywhere
Sometimes the best person for a role doesn’t live as close to your office, or their manager, as you’d like.
Limiting the talent pool to people in a particular location means there are a lot of candidates you may be missing out on that your competitors can hire instead.
Sure, big cities often have a higher concentration of, say, software developers, but COVID made a lot of people change their priorities and crave a slower way of life. They still have the skills and mindset needed to do their job. It just means that they’re not spending hundreds or thousands of dollars per year on a commute.
Instead, they have that money to spend on themselves, their family, and to go towards the cost of living.
This is also beneficial for employees who have family and/or friends who live far from them. It means they can go see their loved ones and work in another country for a month, even if your company doesn’t have an office there. They won’t use up as much of their vacation time, and they’ll also get to enjoy a change of scenery.
Their community grows
In the same way that school and college force us to mix with people we may not otherwise spend time around, our jobs can do the same. Offering flexible work schedules can mean that people who wouldn’t normally get to work together, do.
This can help to open people’s eyes to other people’s struggles and life situations.
It can also build empathy and compassion, trigger new interests, help them make new friends, and provide further benefits for their mental and physical health.
Sometimes all we need is someone to listen to our problems. Having colleagues who understand and actively listen can go a long way toward mitigating workplace stress.
It gives their life a purpose
When we feel like our lives have a purpose, we’re happier and we live longer. It can also help to prevent depression.
Many people would like to get this from their job but are unfortunately unable to. However, it’s one of the biggest reasons people now work where they do.
A purpose is more important to some people now than how much they earn.
Nobody should have to sacrifice the pay they deserve for a meaningful career, though. They should be paid what they’re worth and encouraged to pursue what’s important to them. Offering flexible work schedules can make all of this possible.
These are just some of the benefits of flexible work schedules when it comes to supporting a diverse workforce.
It’s not just for underrepresented talent, though—many of us could benefit from flexible work schedules. Whether it’s on a bad day when we need to sleep a little longer, when we have a medical appointment, or even when we have clients who want to meet later but we still feel like we have to be at our desks from 9 until 5.
Flexible work schedules are the way forward. They’re the best way to attract all types of talent. Failing to be flexible can mean you miss out on some of the best candidates, slowing business growth.
On the other hand, when you hire candidates that your competitors may be missing, it can give your business a boost in everything from knowledge to mindset to skills. All these things add up to give you the upper hand as an employer and a business.
If you’re exploring flexible work schedules but want to make sure all of your team members stay connected, Workrowd can help. With a one-stop shop for all your employee groups, programs, and events, it’s easy to keep everyone looped into your company culture from day one. Drop us a line at email@example.com to learn how we can support you in driving engagement and retention.