Flexible working: Striking a balance
The Deloitte Millennial Survey 2016
Writing on LinkedIn, Adam Henderson of Millennial Mindset asked, “If you can’t trust your employees to work flexibly, why hire them in the first place?” He continued, “A flexible approach to work also helps businesses retain their best talent as they are giving their employees an option to do great work, but in a way that fits their lifestyles, providing a win-win scenario for all.”
Our survey explored the issue of flexible working in some detail and found that while most (70 percent) were able to access email and relevant applications from mobile devices—and also, within limits, work flexible hours (67 percent)—only a minority (43 percent) were allowed to work from home or other locations where they felt most productive. In just six markets (South Korea, Indonesia, India, The Netherlands, and Belgium) could a majority work from home if they wished. The opportunity to enjoy this flexibility and level of trust is also relatively high among: senior executives (56 percent); organisations with high employee satisfaction (51 percent); organisations actively supporting leadership roles (50 percent); parents (49 percent); men (47 percent); and those intending to stay more than five years (46 percent). The current level of flexibility is not consistent with Millennials’ desires. Fully, 88 percent wish they could, within certain limits, have greater opportunity to start and finish work at the times they choose. Meanwhile, 77 percent wish to have greater mobile connectivity, such as via tablets and smartphones. But, the greatest gap between current supply and demand surrounds the issue of remote working—fully 75 percent would like to start to, or more frequently, work from home or other locations where they feel more productive. This is nearly double the proportion that currently do so (43 percent).
Such measures would most likely increase levels of satisfaction and, in Millennials’ opinions, boost productivity. Of course, they have a vested interest in saying so, but a majority (51 percent) expect productivity to increase if people in their organisations could work from home or places other than the main location.