Even with #FlexFrom1st growing closer to being realised, some employers still look at flexibility as an optional “perk” rather than a competitive, non-negotiable benefit. However, RemoteWorker, a talent acquisition firm and online job board specialising in remote jobs, is suggesting that it’s about time that outlook changed.

“Unfortunately, some employers still have a flippant approach to remote, hybrid and flexible forms of work,” says Joseph Boll, RemoteWorker CEO. “Some are still reluctant to give staff the flexibility to work outside of a physical communal office space, or outside the traditional 9-5 hours. Some won’t even consider the possibility, let alone discuss it with employees.”

However, the need to take a different approach is poignant especially as the date for FlexFrom1st implementation quickly approaches. Not just because it will become law, but because employers can benefit from it.

According to the University of Leeds, job satisfaction is closely linked to how much flexibility an employer gives its employees. A study found that workers whose jobs provided more flexibility were: happier with their jobs, had better job performance, went above and beyond more often, wasted less company time during the workday, had better overall wellbeing, were more well-rested and had fewer work-family conflicts.

In contrast, “when employees felt they had little control over where they worked, working in the office was associated with lower workplace satisfaction.” This, in turn, had “a knock-on effect on performance and job satisfaction” for in-office workers with no flexibility, and unsatisfied employees are by far the most likely to quit. Especially once FlexFrom1st comes into effect, employees and job seekers will likely have a plethora of options for choosing an employer that is lenient with granting flexible options.

“The new rule will open the door for more flexibility, but businesses should be thinking about it differently too,” Boll says. “Think of it the same as offering private health insurance or other competitive benefits, rather than as something your staff can ‘pester’ you about. Being proactive about it will help a business transition to FlexFrom1st smoothly and it can also improve employee satisfaction and morale.”

RemoteWorker believes that businesses at least being open to discussing staff expectations and needs with respect to flexibility will lead to the best possible outcome for employers, employees and job seekers alike.