There’s been a pendulum shift in recent years with companies investing in initiatives that are more employee centric, going beyond the typical benefits package. With the rise of modern office designs, the in-office perks such as the company foosball table, and newer technologies designed to help drive productivity, one would assume that employees are happier with their jobs.
In reality, however, this may not be the case in your organization – foosball table or not. According to a report by the RAND Corporation, Harvard Medical School and UCLA, and the American Working Conditions Survey, the American workplace continues to be physically and emotionally taxing.
More than one-quarter of American workers say they have too little time to do their jobs. Also, while many American workers adjust their personal lives to accommodate work matters, about one-third of the workers cannot change their schedules at work to accommodate their personal matters.
“Work is taxing at the office and it’s taxing when it spills out of the workplace into people’s family lives.” – Nicole Maestas, associate professor at Harvard Medical School and an adjunct economist at RAND.
As a finance leader, you may be asking “so what?” Employee satisfaction sounds like something HR should be focused on. But before you write this data off, consider the financial implications.
Not surprisingly, a work environment that is physically and emotionally taxing results in unhappy employees. And when you have unhappy employees roaming around the office all day, not only does workplace productivity go south, but so does your company bottom-line.
In terms of an actual dollar figure, a Gallup study found that “actively disengaged employees cost the U.S. $450-$550 billion per year.”
For a further breakdown of the numbers, companies that have a majority of employees who are disengaged saw their operating income drop by 32.7% . Also, companies with a very low number of engaged employees have an average of 3% lower earnings per share (EPS) than the norm.
On the flip side of this issue, companies with a vast majority of highly engaged employees witnessed a 19.2% improvement in operating income last year. These companies also had an average of 147% higher EPS than the norm.
In addition, companies that do an excellent job at making sure employees personal lives are respected outside of work also come out ahead. And this is where finance can play a major role by working with cross functional teams to invest in the right collaboration technologies that enable better flexible working arrangements than before.
In particular, the right video conferencing platform is one of those solutions that can make or break your flexible/work arrangements. A reliable, enterprise-grade platform, such as RealPresence Desktop and RealPresence Mobile will enable your remote employees to connect with in-office staff to collaborate more efficiently.
Also, integrations with existing collaboration technology such as Skype for Business enable employees to initiate a quick video chat from a platform they are already familiar with using. If an employee is instant messaging on Skype for Business and the chat could benefit from a quick video interaction, then all the employee needs to do is push the click-to-join functionality feature. No need to book a conference room and go through the traditional, tedious steps of jumping on a quick video conferencing meeting.
These solutions are ideal for companies that are looking to help employees find work/life balance. These platforms also help streamline workplace efficiencies as employees have more time to work on their assignments as they no longer need to deal with long and hellish commutes.
Unhappy employees is an issue typically left to HR. But by partnering with HR leaders, the finance team has the opportunity to avoid the big cost implications that come with a disengaged workforce. Working with cross functional teams to ensure employees don’t have to give up their personal lives for work can improve operating income and EPS. So while you’re improving the working conditions of employees, you’re making presenting the company financials in the boardroom a much more pleasant experience as well.