The New Shape of Work is Flexibility for All | Mercer

Workforce Trends

As employers consider longer-term remote working policies, many of them would benefit from expanding their perspective to include various forms of “flexibility” for “all” employees. As noted in this article, “flexibility in a post-COVID era will no longer be just an employee benefit or a perk limited to “proven” or tenured employees. It will no longer be contingent on a personal situation, life event, or manager approval. The future is shaped by organizations that embrace permanent flexibility for ALL employees to deliver value to both the business and the employee.|The article offers three questions that organizations can ask as they reset and reimagine flexibility at scale. 1) What flexibility is possible? Organizations can determine how different jobs can flex by assessing any role’s “flexibility quotient” against the five dimensions of flexibility: where, when, how, what, and who. 2) What flexibility is desirable? Since flexibility comes in different forms, organizations can understand what types of flexibility employees prefer and that is achievable from a business perspective.  3) What flexibility is sustainable?  In order for a new model of flexibility to be sustainable, organizations must assess their readiness for supporting long-term flexibility at scale. To assess their readiness, firms can leverage Figure 2 (p.5), which provides nine critical questions to answer on permanent flexibility. The nine items are grouped by 1) foundation enablers – such as culture, 2) people programs, including benefits (e.g., understanding how benefits might differ for remote workers than their office peers) 3) infrastructure, such as digitalization (e.g., using technology to support new ways of working). The article provides several insights that can be leveraged for strategic discussions on this topic.

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