9 am to 5 pm, Monday to Friday, 48 to 50 weeks a year – this had been the typical work schedule for decades. But, with digitization, globalization and use of effective resource planning tools, probably sometime around the mid-90s, employees and businesses started moving away from this “standard workweek schedule.”
If you’re still sticking to this antiquated working policy, then you are missing out on a lot. Here, in this post, we look at why flexible timings are great not only for your employees but also to improve your business growth.
In today’s digital era, you no longer have to be chained to a desk to carry out your work-related tasks. With super-fast internet connectivity, use of right resource planning tools , technological advancements and tools, collaborating and communicating with your colleagues are now way easier and more efficient than ever before, irrespective of your location.
One can now work at home, from a café or even while lounging on a beach during your vacation. In fact, several businesses are actively encouraging employees to take advantage of flexible working hours. Further they are able to manage their resource smartly with use of effective resource planning tools that come with a lot of advanced features.
Here are a few key benefits of offering flexible working hours for your employees.
Reduced Operational CostsYou no longer have to provide a separate workstation for each employee. Several businesses are offering hot desking schemes. This means employees share communal desks and computers on the days they drop into the office. This allows companies to increase the headcount of employees working out of the same office, without the need for extra rental space, furniture, and workstations. This significantly reduces your overhead costs.
Enhanced ProductivityWhen an employee works from home, he/she no longer has to spend time on commuting. This means they are likely to start the day’s work earlier and finish it later, rather than wasting precious time, travelling to and from the office.
A study by CoSo Cloud, the cloud solutions provider for Adobe found that flexible work timings and work from home opportunity increased productivity by 77% and reduced the time taken off from work by 52%. Many employees feel that they need to work harder than before to justify the arrangement and the leniency showed by the business.
Additionally, the morale boost that comes with better work-life balance leads to increased employee satisfaction, which in turn translates to better productivity and performance.
Better CreativityHappy employees are the best-performing ones. When you offer employees flexible working hours, they are glad of the opportunity and are more inclined to prove themselves. This leads to improved engagement with their work, and better contribution to the job.
When employees feel happy and content, they are more likely to come up with “out of the box” solutions, that are innovative and creative.
Reduced Interference from ManagementWhen employees are offered flexible working hours, they tend to cause minimal disruption and stay away from office politics and other distractions. This means interference from management to resolve disputes and provide other guidance is next to nil.
Managers need only to communicate with employees to review their work, provide regular feedback and collaborate with employees. This reduces the strain on your management team, thereby streamlining practices.
Employees work at their Optimal TimesNot all of us fit into the 9-to-5 pattern. While some people may be at their productive best in the mornings, for others their creative juices don’t kick in, until late afternoon. By offering flexible working times, businesses provide a way for employees to work during their optimum times.
A study conducted by Forbes reveals that flexible workers:
- Are happier with their jobs
- Took lesser sick leaves
- Worked longer hours that their office-going colleagues
- And, achieved more
Increase Staff RetentionThis is one of the significant woes plaguing all businesses from small startups to massive Fortune 500 companies. With a large percentage of today’s workforce dominated by Millennials, companies are finding it difficult to retain the right talent.
The younger workforces of today are not willing to sacrifice their work-life balance for a lucrative career. So, if you’re looking to improve staff retention, then you have to provide your workforce with flexible working hours that let them pursue their hobbies, fitness and other passions.
Attract Potential TalentThis one’s similar to the above point. Today, young professionals don’t just sign up for the first job they come across. Instead, they are pretty choosy and are focused on picking the right position that lets offers them pursue their other interests. Additionally, the younger generation of today is looking for jobs that make it easy for them to raise a family, by offering flexible working hours.
To ensure that you attract the right talent, it becomes mandatory to be flexible with the work timings.
There are several ways in which you can offer employees flexibility when it comes to their working hours. Here’s a look at few options:
- Job Sharing – Here two employees do the work of one full-time employee, meaning one person works during the first half of the day, while the other continues the job during the next half.
- Early/late Entries – This option lets employees report in earlier or later than regular office timings. For instance, a mom can drop off her kids at school and report to work at 10 am instead of the regular 9 am.
- Alternating between a 4-day week and a 5-day week – For instance, employees can work for five days one week, followed by just four days the next week. This provides them with an extended weekend, every alternating week.
- More Time during Peak Season and Off days during less-busy seasons – In sectors like tourism and accounting, the volume of work varies with the season. This means businesses can let employees work overtime during peak seasons and take extended breaks during the lesser busy seasons.
These are just a few options. The possibilities are endless, depending on the nature of your business, the geographical location of your employees and other factors.
A Few Tips to Make Flextime Work for your Business
If you’re worried that employees may slack off, if not under direct supervision, here are a few handy tips to help you derive the maximum output.
Specify clear goals and objectivesWhen you offer flexible timings to employees, make sure that you outline goals clearly. You have to define action-oriented goals that can be measured periodically or at the end of the workday. Make sure that all instructions you give are specific and unambiguous. This avoids confusions and miscommunications later on.
Your employees must be clear about their rolesA telecommuting employee must be clear about his/her responsibilities. Every person on the team must be aware of who’s responsible for what task and the timeline of the entire project. Everything must be clear and accessible to all, to avoid blame, confusion, and disagreements.
Make use of the right Resource Planning ToolWhen you have remote workers, it becomes essential that you need the right tools to better utilize resources, delegate tasks, and for reviewing what’s completed and what needs to be done. Resource Planning Tools helps you get the most out of your resources while boosting the productivity of your remote team.
The benefits of flexible timings to employees are well-known – better work-life balance, improved physical and mental well-being and increase job satisfaction. Flexible timings offer huge benefits to businesses too – reduced operational costs, increased employee loyalty, and better productivity and output.
With the right tools and proper implementation, flexible timings can offer your business a significant advantage in the race to success.References: