The days of the regular nine to five, Monday to Friday job are numbered. With today’s increasingly mobile labor force, more and more workers are asking for changes to their work patterns. These requests may include anything from more flexible work schedules to the possibility of telecommuting.
Whether it’s part-time work, job sharing, remote working, or the option to choose your own hours—the number of ways to work flexibly is always growing.
Thanks to countless advances in technology and the average worker’s familiarity with the tools that keep us connected, flexible working is now easier than ever before—and not just for employees. Video-conferencing software, cloud storage, and readily available access to Wi-Fi make flexible working a manageable undertaking for HR departments, as well.
Let’s explore the reasons why flexible work schedules are beneficial to employees and employers.
Advantages of flexible work schedules for employees
1. Team cohesion
Employees benefit from flexible work by obtaining more balance between their work and family commitments.
As Scott Behson of Harvard Business Review points out, giving a particular client or specific project to a small team allows for more “give” in the completion of the tasks they’re assigned.
When a team is well-connected and team members have overlapping roles, it becomes less important if one or two of them can’t make a meeting or complete a task. With consistent communication, a team can adapt and individual members can pick up the slack of their colleagues when needed.
That way, the entire project doesn’t stall because one employee has a sick child and misses a day of work. In addition, this elasticity can reduce the fatigue that can come with chronic overwork.
Soft Skills Development
Building the critical skills needed to succeed in the modern workplace
Employees benefit from flexible work schedules by obtaining more balance between their work and family commitments. A worker who must care for an ailing parent can still do their work efficiently by splitting their time between the office and working from home.
Importantly, this gives workers more control over their own schedules and can reduce long, stressful (and unproductive) commute times. If there happens to be a public transportation strike, your company won’t lose a whole day of work, because your employees can continue their work seamlessly from their home offices.
Advantages of flexible work schedules for employers
1. Happy workers equal a healthy profit
It should come as no surprise that a happy workforce is a productive workforce. It shows your employees that you don’t just care about the bottom line, but also care about them, their health, and their families.
This doesn’t just create a good employer brand for you. It empowers your employees to invest in your company by allowing them the independence to do their jobs in a way that works best for them and, thereby, you.
2. Tap the well of talent potential
A flexible work schedule allows your employees to be on the job when they’re feeling their best.
With flexible working policies, you’ll be able to hire people from a broader range of places, both physically and professionally. You open up the possibility to have remote workers from countries all across the globe—and across the spectrum of work environments.
For example, there could be a retired executive with decades of priceless industry knowledge, but who would only like to work on a part-time basis.
A nine to five job wouldn’t work for this person, but a flexible work schedule would be a perfect solution for both of you.
Stay-at-home parents, military spouses, and employees with disabilities are all brought into your workforce through the addition of flexible work options.
3. Play to your staff’s strengths
Some of us are morning people, and others’ most productive hours are later in the day. A flexible work schedule allows your employees to be on the job when they’re feeling their best.
This helps them approach their respective roles in a more personalized way. This benefits both you and your employees. They’ll look forward to work, while you enjoy the higher performance turnout your workers give you during their specific peak conditions.
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4. Grow, grow, grow
Companies that hire teleworkers grow at a faster pace than those with only in-office staff. The ability to hire workers in different geographic locations is just one reason.
Individually tailoring your company’s flexible work structure is key to developing a plan that keeps you at peak performance. Each business needs to structure its flexible work policies to fit its individual needs and objectives. That being said, any business will benefit from family-friendly strategies which encourage and foster work-life balance.
5. A flexible office is a greener office
Daily commutes to the workplace, and the energy that is expended in the process increase your company’s carbon emissions exponentially over time. By reducing, or cutting out commutes completely, you will help your business cut down on the number of workers (and all the costs associated with them) in your offices.
In addition to the savings on energy and countless other costs, you’ll also have a positive impact on the environment. Each employee who doesn’t have to drive to the office each day is lowering your company’s effect on the environment.
It might not be at the top of your list of priorities, but you can still feel good knowing you’re doing your small part to save the planet.