The Increasing Demand for Flexible Work Arrangements



When I attended a meeting recently at an offsite location, the office suite was an aesthetic experience in itself. I was lucky to get a quick office tour after the meeting ended and I couldn’t help but appreciate everything I saw— from the wall art to the spacious kitchen area, the plants, the workstations, and the scenic views from the large conference rooms. In one word, it was spectacular! However, I noticed that the office was almost empty. Out of curiosity, I asked where everyone was, and I learned that most of the employees either telecommute or have customized work hours.

One of the HR predictions of workplace changes for 2018 was an increased demand for flexible work arrangements. The 2018 Mercer Global Talent Trends study identified five top talent trends: Change at Speed, Working with Purpose, Permanent Flexibility, Platform for Talent, and Digital from the Inside Out.

Mercer’s survey involved over 5,000 employees, 1,800 HR professionals, 800 business executives and 50 board directors from 44 countries and 21 industries. Based on this study, 51 percent of all employees want their companies to offer more flexible work options. Employees want work arrangements that give them control over their personal and professional lives.

In my experience, I know that executives raise concerns about the empty offices we find these days. However, I have also learned that the increased demand for flexible work options is causing business leaders to shift their focus from where, how, or when work is done to a focus on performance and output.

With this shift to work flexibility, HR professionals are undoubtedly tasked with the responsibility of implementing or redesigning policies that support flexible work arrangements for employees, are equitable, and ensure that performance goals are met.

What are you doing to provide more flexibility for your employees? Please join me on December 12 at 3:00 p.m. ET for a #Nextchat on creating an award-winning workflex program for your organization.  Stay tuned to the SHRM blog for the preview!


Workplace learning, customized workflex, mentorship, a positive work culture, and employee-based innovation are just a few of the exciting workforce trends becoming a reality for employees.  Learn more about the 2018 When Work Works (WWW) Award winners here. 




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