Employees, whether they are on-site or remote, frequently cite schedule flexibility as an important factor in achieving a healthy work-life balance. An employee’s usual arrival and departure times could be staggered under a flexible time policy to help with day care or school obligations. Yet another adaptable choice would be to do away with regular work hours and instead let employees divide them up whenever they like over the day (or night). This flexibility makes it possible to do things like go to the doctor, take a nap, or do errands during off hours.
The degree of flexibility is contingent on the employer, the industry, and the nature of the employment. For e.g., shift changes, but not the distribution of work hours throughout the day, may be an option for occupations requiring coverage (like food servers or store clerks).
Employees’ perspectives on their occupations have evolved dramatically during the previous two years. The pandemic afforded ample opportunity to reconsider values and lifestyles. As a result, employees now place a higher value on catering to their own emotional and physical well-being. They’d rather not be overworked and stressed out, and they’d rather not have to go back to their old routines.
Jobseekers are consequently more selective than ever. LinkedIn’s Global Talent Trends 2022 report shows that, compared to 2019, job seekers saw nearly twice as many job postings in 2021 before applying. People are 7 times more likely to respond to ads for remote or hybrid jobs as to those for traditional office jobs. Today’s businesses understand that providing employees with some leeway in their working arrangements is important to keeping them happy and fulfilled in their roles. Flexible work rules are a major selling point for employers, who need every competitive edge they can get to recruit and retain talent. LinkedIn recently surveyed over 500 top-level executives in the US and UK, and 81% of them said they are modifying workplace regulations to provide greater work flexibility.
What are the advantages of allowing employees more leeway in their schedules to employers?
Presently, one of the most significant benefits of flexible work arrangements is the positive impact it has on recruitment and employee retention rates.
Companies that allow for telecommuting and other forms of employee autonomy generally find they need less office space and can cut overhead costs as a result. Also, they strengthen their company’s reputation for being eco-friendly. Having fewer employees commute to work reduces emissions, which in turn improves air quality and decreases global warming.
Flexible time can be useful for businesses in terms of coverage, according to some. When employees begin or conclude their shifts outside of the normal 9 to 5, it means that there will be employees on hand to help customers at such times.
Last but not least, flexibility has been shown to increase employee happiness by providing a better work-life balance. Employees who are satisfied with their employer’s time and location flexibility are 2.6 times more likely to report being happy and 2.1 times more likely to advocate working for the company, according to LinkedIn’s Global Talent Trends 2022 research. Increased loyalty, enthusiasm, and productivity are all results of these pleasant emotions. All parties involved, both in and out of the office, will benefit.
How do you encourage a more adaptable work environment?
Creating a flexible work environment can be done in a variety of ways. It’s acceptable to expect that not every employer will be able to accommodate every form of flexible work arrangement.
It’s important to consider factors like company size and industry when deciding how flexible to be with your staff. It’s critical that you find solutions that work for both your business and your staff. Even better, directly brainstorm such flexible work arrangements with your team members. Learn what your employees are going through. The next step is to figure up a plan that works for everyone involved.
Here are a few examples of common flexible employment arrangements.
1. Flexible timing for arrival and departure
This is a common form of flexible work arrangement. In light of the widespread acknowledgement that set work hours are unrealistic for the vast majority of employees, flexible schedules have become the norm. In the end, we’re not machines.
Employees have commitments and obligations outside of the office. It’s possible that they’ll have to pick up the kids from school. They may have more caring duties to perform. Nothing about that should prevent them from being hired. And as an employer, you shouldn’t let that fact prevent you from considering such applicants.
Being more deadline-oriented is one strategy for obtaining this level of flexibility. Focus more on punctual work delivery from your staff and less on how often they punch in and out of the office. This is not only more convenient, but it also fosters a culture of production by emphasising actual output rather than merely meeting arbitrary standards.
As an alternative, you might use a management application to keep a check on attendance. That way, you’ll always have an accurate picture of your staff’s weekly hours of labour, regardless of whether they start their workday at 9 a.m. or 11 a.m. after dropping off the kids at school.
2. Telecommuting or working remotely
The practise of employees working from home is gaining popularity. The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed the workplaces to move towards greater employee autonomy. There is a growing trend of people opting to work as freelancers and a cultural movement towards hybrid work in offices.
In fact, if your company doesn’t provide this kind of flexibility, it may have trouble competing for the best employees. Wherever possible, employees in flexible workplaces should be able to do their jobs from anywhere.
Not only is it convenient for employees, but studies have shown that it also increases output. Work-from-home employees are 24% more likely to report high levels of happiness and productivity.
Nevertheless, this is not to say that you must adopt a completely remote strategy.
Allowing employees to work from home once or twice a week is a smart compromise, as most companies have at least some tasks that can be completed from afar. Employers who support telecommuting have a 25% lower turnover rate than their counterparts who don’t. Allowing employees more leeway in their schedules has shown to be a successful strategy for attracting, hiring, and retaining talent. Everyone stands to benefit from this arrangement.
3. Shorter workweeks
Shorter work hours do not equate to less work, contrary to popular opinion. Shorter, or c compressed work schedules are implemented by companies that simply reschedule a conventional work weeks’ worth of hours across fewer (or more) days.
An employee could put in longer hours per day by working fewer days per week. Similarly, an employee could reduce their workweek from seven to six days by working less hours per day. The total number of hours worked per year would be the same in either case because of the flexibility in scheduling.
There are several advantages to having a flexible work schedule for both the employer and the employee. Flexible scheduling can be a game-changer for your future success, but it may require a significant departure from your current methods. You can reach out to our experienced employment law attorneys the Walsh Law Firm LLC to help you with drafting and implementing a flexible scheduling policy and any other queries you may have related to work schedule flexibility.