The Future of Work Is Flexible: How New Data Is Transforming the Employee Experience

In 1926, Ford Motor Companies did something revolutionary: they adopted a five-day, 40-hour workweek, thus setting the tone for the next century of work. Even today, despite the fact that we’re in the knowledge era of work, Ford’s structure remains the norm. But going to the same building 5 days a week, 365 days a year between the hours of 9 and 5 is quickly becoming a thing of the past due to our rapidly shifting employee demographics and the ability to stay more connected than ever through technology. As a result, work as we know is about to undergo its biggest transformation since the advent of the standardized workweek. Instead of being a place we go, work is becoming a thing we do. In the future of work, the where and when won’t matter nearly as much as the what. And what’s powering this transformation is data.

Thanks to a completely new set of data on the employee experience, companies are able to understand the diverse needs of their employees and respond by implementing flexibility policies that give their workers increased autonomy and maximize their satisfaction, productivity and effectiveness. Companies who are taking a data-based approach to workplace flexibility are forging the way for a new type of customized employee experience—one that breeds loyalty, engagement, and better business results.

Our research at Werk tells us that 96% of all employees need some form of flexibility at work, but only 19% have access to what they need. For some employees, the flexibility they need might take the shape of a time shift to avoid a lengthy commute; for others it might mean utilizing location variety a couple of days per week to focus on deep thinking or creative work away from office distractions. And for many, it simply means being able to step away from their desks for a doctor’s appointment, their child’s piano recital, or an unforeseen emergency, without fear of penalty. There is no one-size-fits-all solution to address these diverse range of employee needs; the only way to understand the needs of employees and address them accordingly is through data. That is why the companies who embrace a data-based approach to flexibility today will be on the frontlines of the new workplace revolution of tomorrow.

In this session, attendees will learn the fundamentals of flexibility, gain important benchmark insights on how companies today are leveraging flexibility and where there’s room to lead, and how they can take a more data-based approach to flexibility within their own organization to transform the employee experience. This session will be the convergence of a number of future of work trends, including the shift to a more human-centric HR function, distributed workforce innovations, sustainable D&I solutions, the prioritization of employee health & wellness, and an emphasis on the overall employee experience.

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