How Women’s Influence Is Changing Dynamics In The Modern Workplace

In the modern workplace, women represent around 47 percent of the workforce; in some industries, that percentage is even higher. As women have specifically penetrated office jobs and career business positions, there has been a dramatic change in what companies are expected to provide to their employees. Flexibility in working environment and location, better insurance products, and better leave policies have all become more crucial to retain women in the workplace.

Let’s look at how the influence of women in the workplace is pushing for different policies from employers.

Flextime

Many women fill many roles in their families, often including that of caregiver. Whether they have children or elderly relatives, many women find ways to balance the needs of the workplace and the needs of their outside lives. Although many men fill these roles as well, and benefit from these policy changes, it is often women who have demanded the need for situations whether they can work from home, have flexible schedules, or use remote office spaces.

There are very few companies which cannot embrace at least some flexible scheduling. In retail locations and call centers, for example, staff may be needed in a physical location, but for most management and office workers, there’s very little reason for everyone to need to travel to a specific office every day. Cloud based software means that security can be maintained through a laptop or mobile device without causing security problems. In fact, having employees access all company information through internet portals is often more secure than having data stored on laptops, which can be lost or stolen.

If your business still requires a 9-5 work day, you can often dramatically improve staff morale and employee retention by making flex time feasible for your employees. You may also be able to reduce the footprint and cost of your office space by having only mission critical staff on site every day, with a certain number of workspaces available for staff who are planning to be in on a certain day.

Women Often More Focused On Insurance Benefits

Much like women are more likely to be caretakers for their families, women are often the person in their family more likely to review insurance policies, weigh the differences between different companies, and they may even choose their employer based on the available benefits.

Insurance offered through employers, whether health insurance, life insurance, or other workplace benefits, is a hot topic across the country, with many debates occurring on the cost of insurance products and the effect on businesses. What experts have seen is that when employers offer lower quality insurance policies, they are less likely to retain employees over the long term. For better or worse, companies often find that when they implement strong insurance policies, their employees are healthier over time, and are more committed to their jobs and their positions.

Even though offering a strong health insurance policy or other insurance products may reflect a high up front cost, companies can again see that they have lowered costs related to hiring and employee retention over time. They may see fewer worker’s compensation claims, and see fewer employees using up their sick time benefits.

Better Family Leave Creates Better Retention

Although Family Leave policies affect everyone who has a family, the focus is often on maternity leave policies. This specific attention occurs because women who leave work to have a baby often struggle to return in the normal six week time frame imposed within the United States. Although many women may be medically ready to return at that point, they emotionally are not prepared.

Studies have shown that women who are able to use flex time or additional leave time at that point are often able to re-enter the workplace more slowly and successfully. They are often grateful to the company that is understanding and flexible to their needs, and are more likely to stay with the company over the long term.

Better family leave policies can help reduce employee turnover, reduce the cost of hiring and training replacements, and increase institutional knowledge by keeping the same, valuable employees in their position over time. Humane leave policies can also improve a company’s reputation amongst its employees, which drives the company’s reputation in the eyes of their customers.

In many European countries, the balance is shifting to reflect a greater focus on employee health as reflecting the health of a business overall. American companies may begin to follow suit, especially if they can see how it will benefit them over time. By offering great policies and strong employee protection, not just to women but to all employees, businesses can strength their standing in the marketplace.

How have you seen the entrance of women into office space change modern workplace dynamics? 

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