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Low unemployment and the creation of 167,000 new jobs in the U.S. each month has led to our current talent shortage (Bureau of Labor Statistics). This is great if you’re looking for a job but frustrating if you’re looking to hire high performers.

Would you like to improve your ability to recruit and retain top talent during the current labor shortage?

Managers and leaders often shy away from flexible work arrangements because they feel like allowing them will open a faucet of requests that’ll be difficult to keep up with or shut off.

But it’s not as scary as it seems.  Managers with open minds and the ability to extend trust to others can easily add flexible work arrangements to their bag of recruiting and retention tricks.

Keep reading for a reminder of exactly what flexible work arrangements are and why you should care!

What Da Ya Mean?


What exactly are flexible work arrangements? They’re alternatives to the traditional time and/or place of work structure. Employees work a different schedule, number of hours, or in a different location that they normally would.

Flexible arrangements were initially designed primarily to meet work/life balance needs of employees.  However, there are lots of benefits to employers as well.

Because they are desired by many people, companies use them as recruiting and retention tools.   They can also save organizations costs, reduce absenteeism, expand the scheduling of work over a longer period of the day, improve productivity, and increase employee engagement.

Examples include flextime, compressed work weeks, job sharing, and telecommuting.

Everything Old is New Again

In 2001, I designed the first job share work arrangement at my company.  That was 17 years ago (yikes!), and job share arrangements had been around for a while already at that point.

Although flexible work arrangements have been around for over 2 decades, they’re experiencing a resurgence.   This is driven by the tight labor market and the fact that job seekers now expect flexible work arrangements to be a choice for them.

More employers are gradually shifting their focus from how long, what time, and where work is done to what is getting done – the results!


Try on a New Perspective

Rather than seeing these arrangements as something to avoid, try reframing them by focusing on the benefits and embracing them as a way to set your organization apart from others.  Instead of focusing on why it won’t work in your workplace, ask yourself and your team how it could work.

Next week we’ll explore some of the challenges of flexible work arrangements and how to manage around them.

How Can You Flex?

What flexible arrangements do you have in place now, which ones are you avoiding, and why?

You can leave your answer in a comment below.

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People Matters supports business owners and leaders in all areas of human resources management including the topic in this article.

HR is what we at People Matters love to do! We help our clients create great workplaces that engage employees and produce better business results.

Please give me a call at 517-925-8257 or visit our website at for more information.


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