Flexible working hours used to be thought of as something that freelancers or self-employed workers could only take advantage of. It is becoming more common for employers to offer flexible working schedules for their employees although some employers are still hesitant. Who does flexible working hours benefit? Surely just the person who is working them? When in fact, allowing employees to work flexible hours can benefit the company just as much for a variety of reasons.
What Does ‘Flexible Working Hours’ Mean?
This can be easily defined as an agreement between employer and employee regarding where they will work from, create a work schedule that works for them and organise their day however they want. This does sound very similar to a self-employed working schedule but flexible working hours also includes part-time working hours, fully remote working teams, compressed working hours, alternative job schedules and temporary or seasonal work.
Employers that allow their staff the freedom to work a flexible schedule can find themselves having a more profitable and more desirable company that people want to work for.
How Can This Benefit Employers?
Now, while flexible hour workers may be able to work whatever hours suit their work style and lifestyle and still get their work done, employers may require that employees work certain “core hours”. This may be so that they overlap with other team members to ensure everyone can make the weekly team meeting or be available for clients who may be in a different time zone.
1 Increases Productivity
Employers can be concerned that if they are offering their employees flexible working hours, then they will not be able to fully keep track of what their workers are doing, and if they are completing their tasks. In truth, flexible working hours can increase employee productivity.
Research has shown that flexible working staff work more days per month than in-office staff, which then adds up over the year to be approximately 16.8 more workdays. There are also fewer distractions for flexible workers than for in-office workers.
2 Improves Employee Engagement
One of the ways a company can create employee engagement is by creating a culture of engagement, empowerment and trust. Allowing employees to work flexibly is one way to create this engagement. When employers let people work flexibly, it is saying that they are trusted to get their work done no matter how, when, or where that happens.
Engaged employees tend to perform better in their roles than those who are not engaged with their jobs.
3 Improves Retention
Allowing existing employees to have flexible working schedules can help companies to retain valuable staff. Flexible working hours are by far one of the most sought after perks by employees. Research has shown that up to 80% of employees would choose a job that offers work flexibility over a job that doesn’t, and up to 30% of workers would prefer this work schedule over additional holiday dates. Employees will more loyal to employers that understand their worker’s needs and requests for flexible working hours.
4 Increase in Candidate Diversity
If employers are offering an office-based role, the candidates applying will be from the local area and may not be the best person possible for the role advertised. If the job is advertised as flexible working hours, then the candidate pool will be wider and there is more chance that the perfect employee would be found.
5 Attract Top Talent
It is considered that 85% of companies are now offering flexible working hours to their employees. As mentioned before, candidates can look at this as more of a perk than others being offered. Therefore, if companies are offering flexible working hours, it will attract the top tier of talent for that role.
6 Cost-Effective and Eco-Friendly
Flexible working hours can be cost-effective for employees and employers. For employees, they will not be having to travel to an office every day, therefore saving money on fuel expenses, lunch out and work clothes. Employers will save money by renting/owing smaller office spaces which would then use less electricity and water. These would all then have an economic effect on the carbon footprint as less travel means less pollution and harmful emissions being released into the air. Also, using less water and electricity reduces negative impacts on the environment.
Why Are Flexible Working Hours Important?
Flexible working hours brings lots of benefits to employees as well as to employers. Employes will get a better sense of job satisfaction, an improved work/life balance and will feel an increase in their motivation and strong morale when it comes to working.
What Are The Disadvantages of Flexible Working Hours?
Although it has many positives, it is also important to think about the challenges flexible working may bring. Flexible working hours means more working from home which can lead to relationships between staff hard to build. Staff may feel isolated working from home and it may feel like the employee is being sidelined. Employees may also have more distractions to battle with if working from home.
How Can I Support My Staff With Flexible Working?
The best way to support your staff is to be open and approachable, that way, your employees will feel able to come to you with any concerns or issues. Offering flexible working hours is a great way to show you support your staff’s work/life balance. Explain to them the expectations and targets etc that need to be achieved to ensure they continue to work to their highest ability, even if at home.
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