Can I Offer my Employees Flexible Work Schedules?

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Having issues with employee morale or high-turnover? Have you considered offering your employees a “flexible work schedule” but not sure if it’s feasible for your business? There are definite advantages and challenges for employers and employees when an employer offers flexible work schedules including compressing work days, flexible daily hours or telecommuting.

Advantages of Flexible Work Schedules for Employees

With flexible work schedules, employees experience these benefits:

  • Flexibility to meet family needs, personal obligations, and life responsibilities conveniently. If you have a flexible schedule, you can go to a parent-teacher conference during the day, take a yoga class, or be home when the washing machine repair person comes to your house.
  • Reduced consumption of employee commuting time and fuel costs. In some areas, commutes of more than an hour each way are not uncommon. If these employees are allowed to work from home, they save two hours of drive time, gas, and wear and tear on the road. Not to mention, fewer people driving means it’s easier for those people who are commuting to get to/from work
  • Increased feeling of personal control over schedule and work environment. One reason people like to work for themselves is the control issue. By allowing employees to determine their own schedule and work environment, you appeal to the entrepreneurial spirit—which can be good for your employees.
  • Reduces employee burnout due to overload. Flexibility means employees can take a break when they need it without incurring the wrath of a boss.

Advantages of Flexible Work Schedules for Employers

With flexible work schedules, employers experience these benefits:

  • Increased employee morale, engagement, and commitment to the organization.
  • Reduced absenteeism and tardiness.
  • Increased ability to recruit outstanding employees.
  • Reduced turnover of valued staff.
  • Allows people to work when they accomplish most, feel freshest, and enjoy working.
  • Extended hours of operation for departments such as customer service.
  • Develops image as an “employer of choice” with family-friendly flexible work schedules.

Disadvantages of Flexible Schedules for Employees

  • Employees who thrive in an office environment may find it difficult to work when his/her colleagues don’t hold the same schedule.
  • There is no clear delineation between work and home. When you use flexible schedules sometimes that means work all of the time.

Disadvantages of Flexible Schedules for Employers

  • In team-oriented departments, teams still need to meet, which requires some set guidelines.
  • Some people take advantage of the flexibility and use that as an invitation to work from home which really means watch Netflix with their email screen open.
  • Some micro-managers, who are used to seeing when their staff members come to work, watching what staff do all day at work, and knowing when people leave for home, have trouble adjusting to the new management style which requires trust.
  • Office-oriented people sometimes view their work-at-home colleagues as slackers because they can’t physically see their productivity.
  • Compressed work weeks can make client handovers complicated—clients expect service 5 days a week during business hours and can be fussy when an employee isn’t in on Friday.
  • Jobs that require customer-facing responsibilities only allow certain types of flextime. Employers struggle with fairness when only certain employees can work remotely.

Overall, the advantages generally outweigh the disadvantages and a good manager can handle the disadvantages. Flexible scheduling has become part of what employees are looking for in their comprehensive employee benefits packages. Your employees will love you; the employer will benefit from overall positive morale which is linked to increased productivity. And the best part? You will retain your superior employees.

Are you still unsure if your small business is structured in a way to offer a flexible work schedule to your employees? The One8ty Team has extensive experience in analyzing job descriptions and organizational structures in small businesses to ensure maximum productivity while improving efficiencies and effectiveness. Call us today to learn more about what we can do for you and your business!