“A group is only as strong as its weakest link”, so they say. This point is valid in the professional world, where companies are as strong as the individuals working for them.
To date, the dialogue has been centred on how difficult millennials are to manage as employees, but the reality is that the millennial mindset is spreading to other generations. Regardless of age, all employees want the same desirable standards than millennials – flexibility, respect, work-life balance, and being mindful of each other.
It has been shown in countless studies that employees’ wellbeing has a strong impact on their productivity. To achieve this, companies should not only offer health and welfare benefits that employees care about, but mostly create a culture that promotes work-life balance and flexibility in the workplace.
BENEFITS OF FLEXIBLE WORK ARRANGEMENTS
The biggest advantage of workplace flexibility lies in the employees’ engagement. By giving employees autonomy and flexibility in organising their work time, their productivity and satisfaction at work increase. Moreover, empowering employees to exert control over their work encourages them to focus more on outcomes than face time, hence achieving more.
Other benefits include:
Improving work-family life balance
Improving physical & mental wellbeing
Reducing negative spillover between work and family life
It might be useful to note, however, that in shifting their human resource approach to integrate more flexibility, companies must ensure that the employees’ purpose is aligned with the greater mission of the business. If employees are the bricks, collaboration is the mortar without which the edifice would fall down. Building and cultivating a shared vision helps employees understand why their job exists and creates passion for their work, collaboratively.
Brands in our community have understood this win-win approach and have put in place a corporate culture centred on social values.
Working with small, local factories and labs, Vera Road is a small business that places its focus on people. They describe themselves as a family, sharing joys, hurts and future projects. Vera Road offers to its employees flexible working arrangements that suits their personal schedule and create a positive culture within the company.
In alignment with the Canadian brand’s values and initiatives on empowering women, Michi ensures all factory employees are given the option of flexible hours as well as being paid a fair and liveable wage and working in a safe environment.
As a global organisation, IWC Schaffhausen embraces and prioritises diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Watchmaking has been described as a traditionally male-dominated industry, and one of IWC’s sustainability targets is to double the share of women in management positions by 2020, compared to a 2017 baseline. Initiatives to achieve this include supporting parents and recognising that enabling flexible working arrangements for both parents can make a significant difference to female employees.