Employers are too slow on flexible working

Research from MT and Sopra Steria on 'Generation Me' reveals the importance of remote working on employee experience.

by MT Staff
Last Updated: 18 Dec 2017

The greatest gift that employers could give their 'Generation Me' staff this Christmas? Greater flexible working, according to research by Management Today and Sopra Steria.

In a survey of almost 500 chief executives, directors, managers and non-managerial employees, greater flexible working and career development are revealed as the factors most likely to enhance employee experience – yet employers appear slow to understand and implement the automation, analytics and other technologies that can facilitate these improvements.

Working flexibly is seen as the most important innovation in delivering an improved employee experience by 'Generation Me' - employees who demand the same quality of experience as customers.

Reports of employees struggling through snow on their daily commute across swathes of the UK recently have underlined the importance of flexible working to support staff during times of disruption. In a separate survey published this week, a third of respondents said they have declined a position because it didn’t offer flexible work options.

Head to the cloud

The greatest strides in improving employee experience are likely to lie in cloud-based platforms that enable employees to manage and personalise their working environment.

In the Management Today/Sopra Steria survey, all three groups agree that the ability to work flexibly/remotely, enabled by communications technology, is the most important innovation required to improve the employee experience.

Yet half of all managers and non managerial staff say that they have zero access to HR processes on their mobile devices.

Only four in ten non-managers – largely millennials – believe that employees will be fully connected and operationally mobile in the next three years, and predict the end of 9-5 working time.

The opportunity for employers

Despite living in an otherwise always-on, anytime, anywhere world, it seems we have learned to expect our employers to move at a slower pace.

With employment at record levels, Generation Me workers have greater choice about where they work than before. The onus is now on employers to impress talented individuals through the entire employee experience - from recruitment and onboarding to development and retention – if they want to keep them for the long term.

Christmas is a time for spreading good will to all, but the Management Today/Sopra Steria research also reveals that employees feel their bosses care less about them than their customers, in the rush to protect the bottom line.

Almost 62% of employees outside the boardroom and C-suite say they believe their organisations invest less effort in the employee experience than the customer experience.

You can read the full report here.

Image credit: Alexas Fotos/Pixabay