What we do


The Mercer Adaptive Working suite of tools provides an objective way to help your organisation succeed with flexible working by analysing your organisation flexibility quotient (FQ), the ROI, line manager FQ, employee FQ, and job FQ in order to develop an action plan for change that delivers work/life balance and successful flexible working.

Mercer’s point of view – why your organisation should consider flexible working

There are a number of trends that have the potential to reshape the world of work as we know it. Flexible working practices that accommodate these trends will ensure that employers have access to the largest and most experienced pools of talent. This will be a differentiator as labour and consumer markets change shape.

While the benefits to employees are more obvious, there are numerous employer benefits as well:

Become an employer of choice for existing and potential talent

  • Staffs that have otherwise left the organisation without being offered flexibility provide a continued presence in the workforce, ensuring organisational knowledge is maintained. Numerous studies show that employees leave organisations that can’t help make work, work for them
  • Flexible working is now also the #1 benefit looked for when applying for a new job. Employers report that flexible working enhances their ability to recruit talent

Save on a range of costs

  • There is a potential to save on office space and operating expenses when employees work from home
  • Lower turnover leads to lower talent acquisition costs
  • Employees are increasingly looking to tailor their careers to their lifestyles and are willing to take a pay cut to achieve this

Allow employees to thrive

  • The introduction of flexible working is a way to cultivate a healthier workplace. In a recent Mercer global talent trends survey, 61%of respondents rated health over wealth and career as their biggest concern in the immediate future
  • Productivity will be increased if individuals are supported to “make work-work” for them, since they will be more engaged, productive, and present at work. Flexible working may actually allow some organisation to offer extended hours thus boosting productivity of your organisation.
  • Flexible arrangements will advance diversity and gender parity by broadening the talent pool available as it will better support underutilised workers such as workers, carers, and older workers to work

Mercer’s point of view – five dimensions of flexibility

Mercer believes the more traditional view of workplace flexibility of where and when people can work is too narrow in thinking. Adaptive working, our flexible working solution considers five dimensions of flexibility for a truly strategic frame of reference for flexible working.

The five dimensions include:

  • When work is done – the hours and timing and the discretion to change
  • Where work is done – the location and ability to vary this; infrastructure needs
  • What work is done – to vary the job content, the ability to share or exchange tasks
  • How work is done – the need to vary the intensity of work, to scale up or down effort based on workload changes
  • Who does the work – the ability to distribute beyond the traditional workforce – for example, to freelancers; potential for automation

Our Approach

Mercer’s full approach comprises of six modules. Each module is a series of workshops, [online] tools, light consulting support, and the development of principles that explore and quantify by stakeholder group how ready your organisation is for flexible working, what kind of flexible working is desired, and what dimension of flexible working will suit the situation most – the Flexibility Quotient (FQ). 

The modules are as follows:

The results from Adaptive Working will provide you with evidence and a framework in which you can create an environment that is fit for the future of work, workers, and the workplace.

What we deliver

In our standardised approach, we will set your organisation up on your journey towards implementing flexible working in a way that works for you:

  • An evaluation of senior stakeholder interests, concerns and views on an appropriate approach to flexible work practices
  • A review of current company practices within one country or entity, including commentary on impact and consistency
  • A better understanding of the needs of particular employee segments
  • Analysis/evidence that supports the desirable level of flexibility, including an understanding of employee and manager wishes and opinions
  • A business case for change
  • Principles for governing the design and delivery of flexible working policies and programmes

Optionally, we can also provide support on the following:

  • Addition of multiple countries
  • Local market (non-UK) consultant views
  • Analysis on the flexibility of specific jobs
  • Policy development
  • Communications support
  • Development of a line manager training programme

Download Mercer's 5 Dimensions For Success In Flexible Work Arrangements

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