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  • Flexible Work Benefits Employers and Employees

    TORONTO - August 08, 2018



    Flexibility Pays Off

    New Survey: How Do Employers Define "Flexible Work"?


    With the tightest labour market in recent years, employers are getting creative in the ways they attract talented workers. Offering flexible work arrangements, a priority of jobseekers, is one recruitment strategy. In a new Express survey, job seekers cite a "flexible work schedule" as the most important non-health benefit.

    According to Express Employment Professionals franchise owner Jessica Culo of Edmonton, Alberta, employers who offer flexible work arrangements see other benefits beyond recruitment. It also improves morale and retention and improves a company's overall image. 

    "A company appears to be more innovative by creating a culture that supports employees," she said. "Employees that feel valued will be more productive and more likely to stay."

    Harif Hemani, an Express franchise owner in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, adds that flexible work also reduces costs for employers.  A more flexible schedule allows employees to respond more easily to life obstacles that arise. As a result, employees take fewer days off and are more productive at work.  

    Flexible Industrial Jobs?

    Flexible work arrangements may come easy for "office jobs," but what about industrial jobs? Bruce Hein, an Express franchise owner in Sarnia, Ontario, explains that some major employers have restructured their shift work to provide more flexibility for workers.

    "There are a lot of people who wanted to work, but can't work a traditional shift," he said. "Some employers are opening earlier and closing later, and employees just have to be present on site for their shift hour requirements."

    Communication is Key to Flexibility 

    Culo notes that some jobs do not allow for flexible shift work. But she emphasizes that any job is flexible if a company prioritizes communication.

    "Employers should ask what flexibility their workers value and do their best to accommodate in a way that works for everyone," she said. "For example, some employers are offering extra 'emergency days' to deal with unexpected personal or family issues that arise.  Other employers are offering the option of shorter lunch breaks in return for an earlier end time."

    Hemani reports an increase in the number of employers offering 4-day work weeks.

    Flexible Work Survey: What Do Job Seekers Want? What Do Employers Think?

    In a survey of job seekers, Express asked respondents, "What benefits-not including healthcare-do you value most from employers?" "Flexible work schedule" was the number one answer. Similarly, "opportunities to work from home/remotely" was the number three answer.



    8-8-2018 Flexible Work How Employers and Employees Benefit Page One



    When employers talk about "flexible work," what do they have in mind? Express surveyed business leaders and asked them, "What does 'flexible work' mean to you?"



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    "Technology, communication channels, family structures, business practices and commuting habits have all changed dramatically over the last couple decades-even the last few years in some cases-so it's only logical that work arrangements can and should adapt as well," said Bill Stoller, CEO of Express. "It's much easier to build a workforce that will take a company into the future if the company's practices aren't stuck in the past. Of course, not every arrangement will work in every situation. But a company shouldn't see offering flexible work as a concession to employees; they should see it as a way to build a more committed, productive team and a stronger, forward-looking business."

    The poll of 734 job seekers was conducted in April via Express Employment Professionals' jobseeker blog, Movin' On Up. The poll of 1,428 employers was conducted in June via Express' Refresh Leadership blog.


    If you would like to arrange for an interview to discuss this topic, please contact Ana Curic at (613) 858-2622 or email

    About Bill Stoller

    William H. "Bill" Stoller is chairman and chief executive officer of Express Employment Professionals. Headquartered in Oklahoma City, the international staffing company has more than 800 franchises in the U.S., Canada and South Africa. Since its inception, Express has put more than 6 million people to work worldwide.

    About Express Employment Professionals

    Express Employment Professionals puts people to work. It generated $3.4 billion in sales and employed a record 540,000 people in 2017. Its long-term goal is to put a million people to work annually. For more information, visit