Supporting Mental Health Through Flexible WorkPosted: 23 May 2023
Guest post by Farah Ali, SEO & Content Lead at Flexa Careers
The demand for flexibility has increased over the past few years, with a staggering 80% of games industry professionals expressing their desire to work flexibly, and it’s been driven by employees in search of a better work-life balance.
The pandemic initially shook things up by forcing employers to embrace flexibility and quickly figure out how to function remotely for business to continue as usual. Following Covid-19, companies have had to adapt to a flexible working approach to meet the demands of employees. Companies that have failed to adapt quickly enough have likely been faced with the struggle of retaining valuable talent due to employees seeking more supportive work environments. And with 1 in 4 of us set to experience mental health challenges at some point, looking at how businesses can help support their teams is more important than ever.
The top 4 benefits of a flexible work culture
Having a flexible work culture means valuing employees’ needs and understanding that a one-size-fits-all approach is not the case. Instead, it gives employees choices around when, where and how they work. So what are the benefits, and how can flexible work support company goals?
Improved work-life balance
Flexibility means employees can spend more quality time with family and friends or make time for hobbies that boost mental well-being. It makes it easier to schedule medical appointments, counselling sessions and manage daily life.
Increased job satisfaction
When employees feel that their employer genuinely cares about their well-being, they are more satisfied with their job. Having a flexible work culture shows employees that their employer is willing to listen and adapt to support their needs, which can create a more positive work environment and increase morale. And for companies, this means the benefit of more productive team members, higher retention rates and lower recruitment and training costs.
When employees have more control over their work schedule, including where, when and how they work, they are more likely to be motivated and productive. If someone is more productive in the morning, they can adjust their hours to what works best for them or start later if their concentration is better in the afternoon/evening.
Better recruitment and retention
The more flexible a company is, the more attractive they are to future employees. Particularly those who truly value work-life balance. This means that companies can gain access to a wider pool of talent with a more diverse set of skills and experience.
Flexible work arrangements that boost mental well-being
For many employees, a strict work schedule where they are required to be in the office every day can cause unnecessary stress and anxiety. Having the flexibility to work from home, adjust work hours, or share job responsibilities with another employee can help to bring down stress levels and improve overall mental well-being. There are plenty of different flexible work arrangements that companies can offer, but it’s important to find options that work well for both the company and its employees.
Remote-first provides employees with the freedom to choose their preferred work location. With working from home as the default option, employees who enjoy remote work full-time are encouraged to embrace it. Other employees, however, may have feelings of isolation and loneliness; this is where remote-first can be advantageous to strike that balance of socialisation.
Fully remote work removes the time and costs associated with the daily commute and allows employees to work in an environment they are comfortable in. It makes it easier to manage the endless daily chores, which can be difficult when you’re in an office full-time. Instead, it can give back more time for activities that boost mental well-being, whether that be going on a walk or to the gym.
Fully remote work can also be particularly helpful for those with anxiety, who could benefit from a flexible schedule to avoid the draining daily commute and the added pressure and worry of socialising when not feeling up to it.
Flexible working hours take work-life balance to a new level. It allows employees to choose when they start and finish as long as they complete their required hours. This can be especially helpful for employees with parental responsibilities who need to do school pick-ups and drop-offs or those who simply enjoy having flexibility for other reasons.
Job sharing is another option for workplaces that are looking to become more flexible. This means two or more employees share the responsibility of a single role; it can be great for those who want to work part-time due to having other commitments. And it’s a solution for those who cannot take on a full-time role due to more severe or unpredictable mental health struggles.
Workplace flexibility is key to supporting mental health and well-being, creating a happier and more productive team, and it can unlock the potential to attract and retain top talent. Embrace the power that flexibility has to offer and make that step towards creating a healthier and more fulfilling work environment.
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