5 Ways To Attract & Retain Talent With Your Flexible Workplace Policy
Written by Helena Sampayo, Content Writer at Hubble.
3rd Aug 2022
Once ‘hybrid working’ took the world by storm, so did employee empowerment. Not only have workplace strategies grown more employee-centric, but workers worldwide are demanding (and expecting!) more flexibility over their work schedules than ever before.So, what happens when employers are too draconian and fail to offer this? You guessed it; it’s ‘The Great Resignation’. While this phenomenon didn’t start with the pandemic, the widespread shift to hybrid working certainly accelerated it—and for a good reason.
Goodbye to the office’s gravitational pull
There’s no denying that the office has lost its gravitational pull. Instead, employees have acquired a taste for the workplace flexibility and freedom that hybrid working offers, and it’s been incredibly hard to give up.
A recent study published by PageGroup found that millennials expect ‘flexible working’ as the standard and not an additional ‘nice-to-have’. This comes as no surprise, as flexibility, autonomy, and choice are now the number one demand for employees worldwide—and employers who fail to offer this are being left behind.But let’s talk about flexible employers for a second. Are they at risk of losing top talent? And if so, what can they do to ensure their workplace policies attract, retain and nurture employees that can move the needle and take their business to the next level?
1. Beat the competition
The war for talent has evolved. The battleground has broadened, and the competition is stiffer. For the past two years, employers have jumped at the opportunity to hire talent from multiple jurisdictions—all thanks to the increased implementation of ‘Hire from Anywhere’ policies. For companies looking to hire from anywhere (like many Flexa clients), we recommend checking out Deel, who are well-versed in the legalities of remote hiring.
But for us at Hubble, flexible companies can also beat the competition by avoiding being too draconian in their workplace policies. One way you can do this is by keeping a close eye on how you set your non-negotiables.
Non-negotiables are the expectations you set, as an employer, over how much workplace flexibility employees can have over how and where they work. While these are crucial for writing (and rewriting) a hybrid workplace strategy, employers may want to allow employees to choose when they come into the office.
If you need convincing, just look at Apple’s infamous U-turn. In 2020, Apple sent a tweet promising its employees permanent remote work. But a year later, CEO Tim Cook sent employees an email that demanded they return to the office for three days per week. Employees wrote Cook an open letter expressing their concerns and asking for the policy to be reconsidered—but Apple denied that request. As a result, the tech giant lost a bunch of employees and gained the title of having a rigid back-to-work strategy in the process.So, our top tip? Let employees decide when they’d like to come into the office—unless, of course, it’s necessary for things like brainstorming sessions or company meetings. Our partners at Flexa mirror this sentiment, as they’ve recently revealed that 37.7% of candidates had expressed interest in remote-first working with the option of working in the office in June 2022 –up by a staggering 259.3% from Q1 2022.
2. Ensure you’re always being inclusive
Everyone defines workplace flexibility differently; what works for one person may not work for another. What’s more, your workforce comprises people with different backgrounds, preferences and requirements—and your flexible workplace policy will need to reflect this.
Hubble’s top tip for ensuring your policies are tailored to each individual in the workforce is to speak to your employees. You can do this through quarterly 1:1s, company-wide surveys and tools, such as Hubble’s Workplace Strategy Tool.Not only does this make your employees feel heard, but it shows them that you’re genuinely interested in making sure they’re prioritised—even though it’s been two years since flexible workplace strategies became all the rage. After all, circumstances and opinions can change, and it’s worth staying on top of this.
3. Keep a watchful eye on presence bias
We all know that ‘presence bias’ can make or break a hybrid workplace. This refers to the— often unconscious—tendency to give people in the office preferential treatment over their remote counterparts.
This can manifest in various ways, including differences in leaders’ attitudes towards those in the office. This can lead to faster promotions, more desirable projects or giving timely information or feedback, making it easier for in-person employees to succeed.
These things can leave remote employees feeling forgotten about and, as a result, leaving the company. So we’d advise staying on top of presence bias by adopting tools, processes and practices that facilitate effective communication and visibility for all employees—no matter where they’re based.
For example, establishing a few house rules for hybrid meetings. You could instruct all employees to dial into meetings remotely, even in the office. You could also ask all attendees to switch on their cameras to ensure that no one misses important body language cues.It’s these small things that remind remote employees that they’re being prioritised.
4. Don’t forget about bringing the team together
While it’s beneficial to give employees a choice over how and where they work, it’s equally as important to bring the team together. This is to facilitate team bonding and networking—all of which can generate a sense of belonging for employees who aren’t regularly in the office.
This is crucial. We, humans, thrive when we feel part of a community. Not only does it improve our life satisfaction, it also boosts our physical and mental health and gives us a purpose. By prioritising this in the workplace, you can yield the same results and create a happy and productive workforce.You can do this by scheduling regular team drinks, away days and other company events so your employees can truly immerse themselves in the team culture and build strong relationships with their colleagues. What’s not to like?
5. Use a hybrid workplace platform like Hubble
At Hubble, we’re here to make hybrid working easy. For the past two years, we’ve helped hundreds of companies establish a hybrid workplace strategy that’s truly unique to its business goals, culture and people.
We do this through our three flagship products:
- Hubble HQ, where you can rent flexible workspace by the month or longer.
- The Hubble Pass, where you can book on-demand workspace by the day or hour.
- The Workplace Strategy Tool, a free-to-use tool to establish your employees’ preferences.