by Paul Rudo on 13/09/12 at 7:00 pm
The consumerization of IT services has led to a number of interesting changes in the way we use and interact with technology. One of the most striking impacts of this new paradigm has to do with the end of offices.
Employees are no longer tethered to a physical desk since enterprise applications, productivity applications, and even desktops are now being delivered in OS-neutral formats which can be remotely accessed from anywhere, and on any device.
But despite this, many employers are reluctant to allow employees to work remotely. They want to keep the sense of comfort that comes from having staff within arm’s reach.
But if you’ve been looking for a convincing argument to convince your employer, you may be in luck. The biggest challenge for every executive is attracting, motivating and retaining high-quality workers. And a new study conducted on behalf of the American Psychological Association presents some surprisingly concrete arguments which suggest that allowing employees to telework may provides significant strategic benefits.
The study was conducted via the Internet in August of 2012, and consulted 1200 adults over the age of 18. It was conducted as part of the Psychologically Healthy Workplace Program, which aims to encourage organization performance through the promotion of employee well-being.
The APA survey showed that the most effective way for employers to retain top talent is to help employees maintain a balance between life and work. According to the survey, 67% of respondents said that lifestyle fit was their reason for staying with their employer. This put work-life balance above pay and benefits in terms of importance.
According to David W. Ballard, head of APA’s Psychologically Healthy Workplace Program:
“To engage the workforce and remain competitive, it’s no longer sufficient to focus solely on benefits. Today, top employers create an environment where employees feel connected to the organization and have a positive work experience that’s part of a rich, fulfilling life.”
The survey also highlighted a few differences when it comes to age groups and sexes.
- Work-life balance was a stronger factor amongst women (72%), than it was amongst men (62%). This would seem to be reasonable, since women are probably more likely to be affected by family issues.
- Men and women were nearly equal in the way they ranked the importance of benefits and pay.
- Women place more importance on workplace relationships, outranking men in their connection to managers, coworkers and the organization.
- Workers over the age of 55 placed the highest importance on “enjoying the work” (80%), with “work-life fit” coming in second place (76%), followed by “benefits” (66%).
- Employees from 18-34 rated “work-life fit” first (58%), followed by “enjoying the work” (61%) in second place.
- The situation was very different with employees aged 34-44, who sited pay as their top motivator (67%).
Hard facts don’t lie. Teleworking is a powerful asset that employers can leverage in order to attract and retain the talent required to meet organizational objectives.
If you’d like more information about the study, you can get full details about the survey results, sampling methods and more through this link.