Women, the insatiable species of the human race – what do they actually want at work? Some would say they want their employers to see how their work is meaningful to the success of the company. Others would want that the bosses affirm continually about the female employee’s contribution and value to the organisation’s goals. And yet others expect that they are given frequent and new challenges or the employers design and foster a creative and collaborative environment. These are just mere hypotheses and have not been tested.
Flexibility is Important
Alternatively, a recent study has found that female employees want flexibility at work. It is an important element to keep the female employees committed and happy at work.
In this research, 50% of the female workers identified that workplace flexibility is one of the most crucial driving forces for career growth.
One of the best ways to really keep female employees at work is to provide them with flexible working hours and flexible working arrangements. In general, 49% of the respondents said that their companies are already flexible. Indeed, when you are a working mother or you have a household to take care of; flexibility at work is indeed vital.
Just imagine, upon waking up one day, you realize that your little baby is having a very high fever, and yet your strict boss expects you to be at work on time, despite everything. Hectic and panicked, isn’t it? Who/what do you choose – baby or work?
Indeed, with flexible working hours and flexible working arrangements, one would not have to go through such a dilemma. You could take the baby to the hospital for medical assistance and reach work late and compensate for the lateness some other day by working additional hours; or with flexible working arrangements, you could work from home and at the same time look after the child.
Linda Galipeau, CEO of Randstad of North America, conducted the research and said that “As enhanced technologies and increased access to information continue to blur the lines between our professional and personal lives, many workers mistake being busy for being productive.” – Undeniably, these two are very different concepts from the organisation’s point of view which would have serious implications for a company’s end result.
The study also revealed that increasing pervasiveness of mobile technologies, like Smartphone and tablets, made it more difficult for women to find that flexibility. This is because, it has become increasingly difficult to disconnect from the office. Staying connected should have improved the bottom line of the companies, but instead the results have proved otherwise. The respondents contend that the technologies have not made them productive.
As Galipeau said, “We are only productive if we’re producing the results that are most impactful to our goals.” The latter also mentioned that it is important to work smarter while living in a multitasking world. Working smarter means “working on those high-impact efforts that will create more meaningful results.”
As the researcher emphasises, “working smarter” is extremely important nowadays, particularly because women and men can now work from just anywhere.