Below are several statistics in the public domain that support the hypothesis that employee choice at work improves productivity and utilization. Employees who know and feel that they have options and that they are doing things of their own volition work more productively than those who do not have a sense of freedom at work. Firms where employees have the freedom of choice and a high level of autonomy report higher levels of productivity and performance.
DATA POINTS SUPPORTING THE HYPOTHESIS
- The productivity and performance of as much as a third of the workforce are negatively impacted by a lack of flexibility at work. Thirty-four percent of white-collar professionals in the United States report that "the structure of their workday makes it challenging to perform in a sustainable way over time."
- Firms where employees have a high level of autonomy or freedom are 10-20 times more inclined to outperform firms where employees have little autonomy or freedom. Among talented professionals, getting a sense of freedom at work, or knowing that they have the ability to decide what project to work on, and how, when, and where to perform this work, is a growing priority.
- At companies giving employees the freedom of choice, over 70% of employees tend to display high levels of engagement. "Liberated" companies give employees the responsibility and freedom to decide what actions are best given the company vision/mission.
- Empowered employees are 67% more willing to exert more effort on the job, innovate, and take helpful creative risks. Employees get a sense of ownership over their job or work when they are allowed to decide on at least some matters on their own. According to Joan Cheverie, a professional development director, people need to feel that they have options, that they are voluntarily doing things, and that "they are the source of their own actions."
- Seventy-one percent of employees who can choose their work setting or location within the office report a positive workplace experience, while in contrast, only 49% of employees who cannot choose their work setting or location within the office report a positive workplace experience. Workspaces that offer employees a variety of work settings rate higher in terms of effectiveness and employee experience because they encourage or promote in-office mobility. Eighty-five percent of business leaders report that flexible workspaces have resulted in increased productivity for them, while 67% of business leaders believe that flexible workspaces have the ability to improve productivity by at least 20%.
- Sixty-eight percent of companies indicate that offering employees device or technology options has resulted in increased productivity for them. Employees with "the ability to use the devices they want within the workplace" are more collaborative, creative, and productive. Device choices make employees feel that they are valued by their employers.
- Autonomy, which pertains to an employee's ability to shape their work and environment in a manner that will allow him or her to perform best, is one of the five key drivers of employee engagement. In the professional services industry where employee utilization is a key metric, employees reportedly have the highest levels of autonomy. Autonomy not only empowers employees but holds them accountable for results as well.
- Employees who utilize their strengths every day, as opposed to employees who do not, are 8% more productive and six times more inclined to display high levels of engagement. Allowing employees to use their strengths means giving them the opportunity to excel. Employees who regularly use their strengths tend to demonstrate higher levels of productivity because their daily activities tend to be more rewarding, and the rewards, in turn, motivate them to work better.