There are many advantages and disadvantages of flexible working hours. Technology has served organizations incredibly in resolving the challenges of flexible work arrangements.
Today flexible work schedules have become the new normal for employers and employees. Approximately 76% of employees prefer flexible work schedules as an attractive incentive for improving satisfaction levels.
Flexible hours refer to giving employees the freedom of adjusting and choosing their working hours and days based on suitability.
What are flexible working hours?
A workday that begins and finishes at times other than the traditional 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. is called flexible working hours, also known as flextime or a flexible work schedule. Flexible working hours imply that employees can begin working sooner or later in the day than initially scheduled.
The job needs, how the organization performs within its industry, and the employee’s preferences or demands influence flexible working hours. For example, an employee can work from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., or any other convenient time. Working hours are agreed upon by both the employer and the employee.
Benefits of flexible work schedule
Depending on your point of view, flexible hours can give various benefits to employees. Once you’ve heard about these benefits, you’ll be able to determine whether this schedule is helpful to your habits and productivity. Some of the benefits of working flexible hours are as follows:
Allowing your current employees to work flexible schedules can help you keep your best personnel. Flexible schedules are undoubtedly one of the most sought-after benefits from businesses.
Attracts the Best People
Given that many job searchers value flexibility over other benefits and that flexible work helps both employers and employees, it stands to reason that offering flexible scheduling can help you attract more top talent.
You’ll have a smaller pool of prospects if you limit your candidate pool to a single location (or even a few). Furthermore, if you work in a homogeneous workspace, you will find that your employees become less diverse. So even if you pay for relocation, you’re asking people to join a less diverse neighborhood, which may be a turnoff and cause you to miss out.
Employers often refuse to allow employees to work flexibly because they believe that if they cannot monitor them closely, they will not work. But, on the other hand, flexible working can increase employee productivity.
Employee Engagement Is Improved
Employees who are engaged are individuals who are aware of their responsibilities and how their work adds to the company’s success. Companies can foster a culture of engagement by creating an environment that empowers and respects employees.
How to maintain productivity with flexible work hours
The number of persons working from home increased dramatically after the Covid-19 outbreak. Most people can return to work now that life has returned to normal. On the other hand, many organizations are implementing more flexible schedule policies because they see the benefits of allowing their staff to work from home.
1. Concentrate on work outcomes and deadlines
2. Invest in better training and tracking tools.
3. Hold one-on-one meetings regularly
4. Establish a Double-Coverage Attendance System
5. Establish Employee Mutual Contracts
6. Make the switch from FaceTime to Flex Time.
7. Hold daily team meetings regularly.
8. Create Collaboration Workflow Solutions
Flexible schedules are advantageous to both the business and the employee in various ways. And, while it may seem like a significant change from how you’ve always done things, adopting flexible scheduling now will help you flourish in the future.
Here is a list of the do’s and don’ts to be employed in managing a flexible work schedule:
Do’s of flexible work schedule
1. Incorporate communication and project management software
The negative impact of flexible working hours on productivity is a lack of communication and project integrations.
To utilize the advantages of flexible working arrangements, the managers should ensure that members can perform real-time communication using the software.
Project management software keeps teams updated about who is doing what and how much work has finished, thereby bringing clarity to perform work from different locations.
2. Foster virtual environment
Collaborative teams produce more productive outcomes as compared to the person working alone to accomplish team goals.
The only thing millennials miss about office life is working with peer groups.
While enabling employees to work in a flexible environment, the managers need to understand that the team would not get affected adversely due to the absence of members under one roof.
Managing flexible work arrangements requires developing a collaborative working environment where the members keep connected and discuss the tasks using an online platform to improve interactions.
3. Offering great support to employees
It depends on how you manage flexible employees to encounter the advantages and disadvantages of flexible working hours.
Many organizations heighten productivity by enabling employees to work flexibly.
Its benefits to employers and employees are many.
To attain flexible work schedule benefits, managers must facilitate knowledge and provide resources to the employees for performing assigned tasks. Support in providing direction and resources contributes to increasing employees’ morale and getting clarity on performing the duties effectively.
4. Focus on employee recognition and motivation
Traditionally, work means an office, and relaxation means home for employees; however, emerging flexibility in work schedules makes it difficult for them to adopt new working scenarios.
For increasing adaptability, retaining productivity, and elevating employees’ interests, managers find different ways to motivate them.
One of the significant ways is to start recognizing their performances and appreciate them for their outstanding performances. It ultimately helps boost their morale and confidence to manage work in flexible work hours.
Recommended Read: Employee Rewards and Recognition Ideas [2021 Guide]
5. Do: Promote boundaries and work/life balance
Instead of working from home, employees are stuck with home chores. They get immensely involved in-home tasks that sideline their office duties and endanger their working efficacies.
People managers conduct virtual seminars where employees learn about managing work-life balance and creating boundaries to improve performances.
Don’ts of flexible work schedule
1. Don’t allow employees who prefer higher guidance
Some employees need frequent direction from their managers to ensure being in the right direction to reach each work milestone.
As it is difficult to organize meetings or draft mails every time to guide such employees, the organizations cannot afford to keep away from office locations.
Recommended Post: A Manager’s Guide to Improve Communication Skills at Work
2. Don’t exclude employees for no reason
Employees engage more with the organization when they are treated fairly by the employer.
Ethical managers should not be impartial in facilitating employees to enjoy flex work hours. Every departmental workforce is liable to work in a flexible environment. For this, managers can develop creative work schedule ideas.
For example, in case of the mandatory physical presence of a team in an organization, managers can plan alternate flexible work schedules for members to perform back office and front operations.
3. Don’t be adamant about timings
Flexibility in working not only means permitting employees to work from home but also involves giving liberty to them to choose their work hours, thereby ensuring the effective accomplishment of the provided goals.
If you are looking for flexible work arrangement’s best practices, you must start with making yourself flexible.
Avoid complaining to employees about being five to seven minutes late for virtual meetings. Do not emphasize much on the varied working hours of employees until the work gets done by them.
4. Don’t stop considering employees who are not in the office
People working from remote locations and those who come to offices are equally significant for the organization.
Compelling managers inform every employee about all organizational activities and team decisions.
If the employees do not get information on the organization’s decisions and performances, they feel lost in the working environment. As a result, their participation level declines.
Thus, being a manager, you should also focus on promotional opportunities, information sharing, event participation, and overall organizational activities to make the flexi-work employees feel included.
Increased productivity and greater employee satisfaction are the key benefits of flexible working hours for employers.
If you are looking for flexible hours ideas, ensure to strengthen loyalty and respect levels and remember these dos and don’ts to improve flexibility.
HR solutions help you in human resource management within a flexible work schedule to monitor their performances and track working hours.
Originally published on June 28, 2021, 1:56 PM, last updated Feb 18, 2022