Hope you caught the BBC interviewee being interrupted on air by his children last week (Prof Kelly and his children). This video is now a viral sensation and reminded me of my own reality as a leader with young children.
This great image—little ones toddling into Prof Kelly’s office during his live interview—is raising questions around the issue of flexible working: how to get it right? what is now acceptable? And, the power of seeing people balance it all. Let’s take a quick look at what we’ve recently found out on this topic and I’ll share some tips from Mercer’s busy work/life environment – consultancy lends itself well to juggling!
Top Global Talent Trends: Mercer’s 2017 Global Talent Trends found that flexibility was top of the list when people were asked what they wanted more of at work. The reality is that employees want more control over where they work and when, especially those with young children. And that applies to both men and women. For an employer, offering flexibility can be a very strong part of the value proposition and an indicator of how the organization view its workforce – not just as employees, but as mothers, fathers, caregivers and people with a life that exists beyond work!
We at Mercer are often asked by organizations to help with strategies that can enhance their employees’ overall engagement and productivity. Our Talent Trends study clearly shows that a growing majority of employees care greatly about flexibility, but raises questions about whether bosses are listening:
Employees know when their company is listening to and caring for them as individuals. Check out Mercer’s 2017 Global Talent Trends study to find out more about how employees’ desire for personalization and flexibility are shaping the way we work.
We also asked employees about their experiences of flexible working and their responses were especially illuminating. While most generally feel their managers (61%) and colleagues (64%) would support them, many have had a different experience on the ground:
So here are some suggestions for employers:
And here are some suggestions for the remote worker: