There's a reason that professional services firm Badenoch & Clark calls flexible working "the key to happiness." Flexibility ranked #1 in their commissioned study of 1,500 UK workers regarding the factors, other than salary, that are important to workplace happiness.

In the survey, flexibility ranked above benefits (30 percent), career progression (30 percent), strong leadership (24 percent), and additional holidays (21 percent). And it soared above holiday entitlement (13 percent) and career break opportunities and sabbaticals (13 percent).

Plus, the survey found there's another type of flexibility gap than the one we've been discussing all along: Despite the overwhelming popularity of flexibility, it's the job aspect that survey respondents said they are most uncomfortable asking about in job interviews. That's a problem, especially because flex conversations are becoming increasingly important as new generations enter the workforce: Flex ranks in the top three factors in the job selection process for millennial and Generation Z workers.

"It's no surprise that flexible working is important to many employees and lots of organisations now have agile working policies in place, with technology enabling flexible working patterns," Badenoch & Clark asserts in its whitepaper, Leading Today's Multi-Generational Workforce. "Clearly, there is more that can be done—not just to make jobseekers feel comfortable asking about it, but also to actively promote your approach to flexible working as part of the recruitment process."

"Those businesses who make sure that flexible working does not become an 'off-limit benefit' will have a competitive advantage in the war for talent," added operations director Nikki Coleman.

At Werk, we advise companies to make structured flexibility a visible part of their culture, so employees know flex is not "off-limits" and so job applicants have no reason feeling uncomfortable talking about flex with their would-be supervisors. In fact, the best place to advertise your flexibility offering is right within the job description itself. Not only does it put everyone on the same page from the start, but it also helps to attract a more diverse range of talent who may have otherwise not applied.

Are you ready to start building a flexible culture at your company? Request a Werk demo to get started.