New research from Mercer, summarized in the company's Global Trends 2019 report, shows that 73 percent of business executives predict significant industry disruption in the next three years, and an even higher percentage believe their company can lead that disruption. But in the same report, Mercer warns of the "significant human capital risks" that can "slow the progress of transformation." Most of those risks, however, should sound familiar to WerkLife readers: We've addressed them as problems that flexibility can solve. Below, find four of the human capital risks Mercer cites—and four ways flex is the answer.

Excessive time to fill open positions
Companies that struggle to fill their open positions can amp their talent attraction through flexibility. Flex ranks in the top 3 factors for millennial and Gen Z job seekers, for example, and ranks as the most important non-monetary factor of workplace happiness. Despite these facts, the word "flexibility" doesn't appear in the 50 most common phrases and terms in a recent study of job listings, suggesting that employers either aren't incorporating flexibility into their company culture or they're not advertising it in their employee value proposition.

Low or declining employee engagement
Flexibility can be a top driver for employee engagement. Werk's research shows that employees who can access flex are 16 percent more likely to feel their ideas are valued at work and 20 percent more likely to feel their employer cares about them, for example. These workers are also half as likely to report being dissatisfied at work than those without flex, and they have employee net promoter (eNPS) scores 48 points higher than those without.

Inadequate diversity
Flex can be a gamechanger in diversity and inclusion efforts, giving employers the freedom to cull talent from any geographic location, allowing workers with disabilities and chronic conditions to stay in the workforce, and empowering caregivers—a majority of whom are women—to find life-work compatibility. According to our research, workers with access to flex are 20 percent more likely to say they believe their work environment fosters diverse points of view and 26 percent more likely to believe their company is making strides toward improving gender diversity. Plus, a 2018 McKinsey & Co. study showed that companies in the top quartile for gender diversity are 21 percent more likely to enjoy above-average profitability than those in the bottom, while companies in the top quartile for ethnic diversity are 33 percent more likely. That leads us to the next human capital risk…

Lagging productivity
One statistic we love to cite here at Werk is the result of a 2017 study of Ctrip, China's largest travel agency, which showed that a remote team of workers produced 13 percent more output than their in-office peers. But remote work is just one of the flex types that boosts productivity, and location-based and time-based modifications to the workday both do their part, letting employees work from the places where they find the most focus or work for the hours during which they're most efficient. More recently, IWG found that 67 percent of businesspeople believe their productivity has risen more than 20 percent with flexibility, while 37 percent believe that flex has boosted their productivity by more than 40 percent.

In these ways, flex addresses these human capital risks and lets companies attract diverse talent, while keeping their employees engaged and productive. And people analytics data powers that transformation from the jump. Learn more here.