by Olivia Ryan
Today’s flexible schedule is different than it was in the past. Instead of giving employees an extra hour in the morning to replace a lost hour in the afternoon, companies have started introducing the benefits of flexible hours and exempt employees (those salaried and exempt from overtime pay) to boost the company’s performance. Employees are given the opportunity for remote working, and this change has more than doubled in this past decade, which means that flexibility must be offering something to the employers, too.
Of course, one of the reasons for this is the change of demands on behalf of Millennials. In a world led by millennial employees, the demand for flexible work schedule is greatly emphasized. But, this need would certainly not be so often fulfilled, if there were not strong reasons to encourage flexibility in the workplace.
It is time to make some changes in the workplace! The list of studies and reasons why flexible working is advantageous for a business is long, but here are the five top reasons why you should consider introducing more flexibility in the workplace.
First, how do you define a flexible work schedule? At Management 3.0, we would not define it as: “You can come in between 8 and 10 and you leave between 4 and 6.”
Flexible working is centered around trusting your team to to the time they need to do what they need to do when they feel they best can do it and in the best location for them to accomplish that.
Schedule Flexibility Increases the Focus
Studies show that employees who have increased control over their work and work hours are more focused on the results. Once an employee is trained, he or she can take over the mission of turning learning and training into practice. The newly trained can be given the opportunity to shuffle the work and do a part at home, another part at the workplace.
You cannot simply force positivity in a workplace. For a person to be more positive and focused on the task on hand, he has to have some flexibility to finish it on his own.
‘The biggest reason why you should introduce flexibility in the workplace is to make employees less stressed and, therefore, more focused,” said Natalia Hope, HR manager at aussiewritings.com.
Schedule Flexibility Gives Employees Choices
In addition to providing the employees with a flexible working schedule, you can give them a variety of choices to make work fulfilling and interesting.
You have probably heard many stories about innovative changes employers have introduced in a workplace. Starting from a wellness program at work to team-building activities outside the workplace, giving people choices gets them out of the boring, monotonous daily grind.
People will want to come to work if they can enjoy the social interaction with colleagues they’ve build a great relationship with. They will expand their knowledge and learn from their co-workers, which can only benefit the company. Flexibility in the workplace can have a great effect on the results of a company, if you know how to implement it right.
Schedule Flexibility Helps Overcome the ‘Stigma’
Experts believe that, in order to secure benefits for a company, a leader must introduce flexible working as an option. If the employees in your company don’t demand flexibility or express the need for it, this does not mean they don’t want it. In fact, the ‘stigma’ in almost every workplace is that the workers are afraid such questions may risk their careers.
This should not be the case in your company if you want it to work at its best. When you empower the employees and give them opportunities to demand more flexibility when needed, this can positively affect their productivity as well as their wellbeing.
Schedule Flexibility Allows for Work-Life Balance
It is much easier for a worker to manage his professional life if he has a grasp of the personal life when he gets to work. When you allow employees to have some control over when and how long they work, they can manage the schedule and environment that best allows them to create a work-life balance.
Of course, this does not mean that the employee should do the work without any guidance or help. Your job as an employer is to clearly state the goals to allow the employee to plan their achievement, as well as provide all the tools and training necessary.
Schedule Flexibility Brings Better Results
Many industries completely dismiss flexible work, believing that this will make the employees less productive and sloppy. Yes, employees can start missing deadlines and working insufficiently if you provide them with the full liberty of working for as many hours as they want. But, they will only do this if you do not set the goals, motivate, and oversee them throughout the process.
Transitioning to a flexible workplace is challenging, but it is also very rewarding when you get the hang of it. If you learn how to manage people and give them the flexibility they need, you can achieve much more than you can with the traditional-working-hours approach.
Implementing an Effective Flexible Schedule in the Workplace
The typical workplace bases the activities on a compressed schedule. The employees here are expected to adhere to a previously set schedule, and are requested not to stray from it. In the case that the employee wants to cut or change work hours for any reason, he must keep the manager informed and ask for a permission.
A flexible schedule may allow the employees to leave and come back at will, work from the comfort of their own home, or demand a more flexible approach towards changing the already set work schedule.
Regardless of the way you choose to introduce some flexibility in the workplace, failing to do anything is most likely to result in less productive, unhappy employees.
For a flexible schedule to be effective, you must learn to build trust in the workplace. Trust is built with clear expectations and goals that are measurable, as well as recognition, rewards and praises when an employee gives the company an ongoing contribution.
Flexibility in the workplace can be challenging, but it does not have to. You can choose to negotiate a more flexible schedule, and work on keeping the employees motivated to make it really work.
How has your work implemented a flexible schedule? How did it affect the quality of your work?