Remote work perks may not suit these on-site workers, but employers can still offer attractive options.
By Sarah Lynch, Inc., December 4, 2023
There’s more to flexible work than where you work–and that matters to employees.
While hybrid work is here to stay, about 58 percent of U.S. workers still need to work fully on-site, according to a new Gallup report. But these employees still want flexibility beyond their work location, the report found–and it could behoove employers to listen.
On-site workers who can’t work remotely have the lowest engagement levels, and low engagement costs the global economy approximately $8.8 trillion, Gallup reports. Meanwhile, employees in this report said they would leave their current employer for certain flexible benefits, and with many small businesses still struggling to find qualified talent, retention should be top-of-mind.
Time flexibility is the most valuable benefit for these on-site workers, the report shows. The ability to choose which days to work ranked highly for employees, and employers commonly offered this perk as well. But fewer employers offered increased paid time off or vacation time–a benefit that employees strongly desired and valued even more than a four-day workweek.
“If employers wanted to really stand out and attract workers, addressing PTO is probably going to be key,” Pendell says.
The report included other “nice-to-have” benefits, including shorter shift lengths, the ability to work at any on-site location, and some remote work or work-from-home options. However, remote work isn’t as high a priority as it was a year ago: 33 percent of on-site workers said they would change employers to work from home in 2023 compared with 38 percent in 2022.
There are some common benefits that employers offer that don’t matter much to on-site workers, according to the report, like flexible start and end times and a more relaxed dress code. Thus, to “maximize frontline employee attraction, performance, and retention, leaders should find a better way to listen to workers’ opinions on what flexibility options they value most,” the report recommends.
This can take a number of forms, Pendell says, from listening sessions with supervisors and managers to internal surveys. “What are my people really saying that they want? And are we matching that?”