Summer Workforce Series: Flexibility

Last month we discussed priorities and their effect on organizational success. This month let’s dive into what work looks like in the 2020s in terms of flexibility.

Remote Work

After the pandemic, many of us have allowed some sort of remote or hybrid work in our organizations. This is important now more than ever. Not only is it likely expected from your employees, but it also allows for the flexibility people need in their lives. According to Pew, 64% of people who work from home at least some of the time find it easier to balance work and personal life (2022).

According to a survey by Savills North America, one-third of Gen Z workers — and nearly as many millennials — said they would not accept a job if that role required them to be in the office five days a week (Fahey). However in a separate survey by the Pew Research Center, 60 percent of respondents said they also feel less connected to their teammates (2022). Remote work is not without its challenges. In addition, remote work is not an option for many in public service. The reality is this is one tool in the toolbox to retain employees.

Flexible Schedules

Another tool is flexible schedules. Many people are caregivers – of children, parents, family, etc. – and may also need to adjust their schedules. A typical 8:00 or 9:00 am to 5:00 pm may not be the best option for some of your employees. Beyond caregiving, employees need time for personal appointments or meetings. Allowing flexibility for personal commitments makes employees feel valued.

New Methods

To combat burnout and increase productivity, some companies have switched to a four-day work week. Perpetual Guardian found that employee engagement increased by 40% after switching to a four-day work week (Delaney) while the SHRM reports that 60% of these organizations have higher productivity and employee satisfaction (2020).

This is not to be confused with a compressed schedule, which crams 40 hours into four days. Employees would work 32-hour weeks – not 10-hour days. The goal is to decrease employee burnout (Bartel).

The future looks different. It’s time to consider making changes, even ones we consider radical. How can you innovatively support your employees while increasing productivity and ultimately improving your bottom line?


Bartel, J. and Forbes Finance Council. (2021 May 7) The Four-Day Workweek Merits Consideration. Retrieved from

Delaney, H. (n.d.) Perpetual Guardian’s 4-day workweek trial: Qualitative research analysis. Department of Management and International Business, University of Auckland Business School. Retrieved from

Parker, K., Menasce Horowitz, J., and Minkin, R. (2022 Feb 16) COVID-19 Pandemic Continues To Reshape Work in America. PEW RESEARCH CENTER. Retrieved from,their%20workplace%20at%20least%20sometimes

Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). (2020 June 20) The Phenomenon of the Four-Day Workweek. Retrieved from

Fahey, A. (2022, Oct 24) Gen Z is changing how employers think about, and use, the office. Wichita Business Journal. Retrieved from n