Compressed work weeks. Working from home. Work remotely. Flexible working hours.
These might seem like a current fad to you, but the numbers speak a different truth.
An astounding 70% of workers strongly believe that flexible working would make a job more attractive to them.
Currently, work-life balance is one of the key benefits today’s employees seek from their organizations. But that in itself may seem like an impossible feat.
According to Harvard Business Review, a whopping 94% of employees reported working more than 50 hours per week. Nearly half said that they worked for more than 65 hours per week.
The resulting strain from such stressful working patterns is nerve-wracking. Working professionals are frequently affected by poor health, constant stress and struggle in their personal life.
So what exactly is Flexible Working Hours?
First of all, flexible working hours doesn’t mean when a manager is being a little lenient and allows the team to leave a little early.
A flexible work schedule doesn’t mean slacking off or not meeting deadlines. Instead, it allows an employee to decide their own work hours, working environment and location where they can deliver their best results.
According to SHRM, 55% of employees cited the flexibility of work-life balance as a very important aspect of their job satisfaction.
Despite this, it is surprising how only a few companies offer flexible working hours. If you need more convincing, read on for why you need to switch on to a more flexible working arrangement.
5 Hard To Ignore Reasons To Offer Flexible Working Hours In Your Organisation
A flexible work schedule brings a host of benefits to your working environment. Here are 5 benefits to encourage a more flexible working arrangement:
1. Enables Employees To Produce Better Results
Expecting each employee to reach their peak performance during the 9-5 time jobs is a bit too ambitious.
When an employee is bounded by rigid work hours, they spend more time looking at the clock than actually being productive. As a result, their deadlines take a hit. Consequently, the quality of work reduces considerably.
A flexible work schedule enables employees to work when and where they are the most productive. For some, it might be working from home late at night. While for others it might be full-time remote working from some corner of the world.
A Stanford survey found that the employees flexibly working from home raised their productivity levels by almost 13%.
According to the study, “The Impact of Flexible Working Hours on the Employee’s Performance”, employee flexibility has helped employees thrive. Along with productivity, employee flexibility has helped increase:
- Employee morale
- Job satisfaction
- Overall business profitability
2. Job Satisfaction
Within the next 2 years, 50% of the workforce will be millennials. And for millennials, job satisfaction matters more than a high salary.
According to Stats Canada, 79% of employees with a flexible work schedule reported that they were satisfied or very satisfied with their work.
The benefits of a flexible work schedule are felt by both employers and employees. This is one of the primary reasons for companies deviating towards flexible working.
Employees are more likely to be happier when they have more control over their work hours. Thus offering flexible working hours will encourage happiness. And happy employees drive better business growth and profitability.
A flexible working arrangement also builds a better relationship between employers and employees. Because of flexible work schedules, employees feel a sense of support from their managers.
3. Better Retention In Companies That Offer Flexible Working Hours
I don’t need to state the importance of employee retention. And how expensive employee turnover can be.
Studies show that flex workers tend to be more satisfied than employees who work regular 9-5 jobs. Furthermore, flexible working hours ensures that the level of employee engagement remains high. Due to the job satisfaction that flexible work schedules provide, flex workers are more likely to stick around even during hard times.
If we take millennials into account, flexible work hours play a bigger role. For millennials, perks and benefits matter more than salary. Thus, in order to retain top talents you need to get a bit more creative than the usual big fat paycheck.
Among benefits, flexible work arrangements is definitely one of the most important benefits you can offer.
4. Wider Choice Of Talent
Flexible work arrangements have a significant influence over hiring practices.
With the number of companies offering various benefits, recruiting is a hard job. Top talents don’t even stop to consider companies which won’t suit their expected needs.
One of the main drawbacks that companies fixate on is a regular 9-5 job. Once you get past that perceived notion, you get a choice of a much diverse talent pool.
This holds true for the millennial workers who place a lot of importance to flexibility.
Companies who are comfortable with giving employees flexibitly are more likely to attract the top talent. Moreover, many millennials prefer being part-time workers, working from home or a simply different schedule than the 9-5 work hours.
All in all, by encouraging flexible work schedule you raise the chance of attracting talented people and even hiring them.
5. Better Mental Health
9-5 work hours are debatable because they seem to be bad for the employees’ overall well-being.
The biggest aspect that takes a hit is the current mental health among employees. Such a work environment seems to have harbored high levels of stress among employees.
A survey conducted by Kenexa High Performance Institute revealed that,
“68 percent of people with inflexible schedules report “unreasonable” levels of work stress. In comparison, only 20 percent of respondents with flexible work schedules felt the same way.”
Additionally, FlexJobs found that,
Work flexibility (things like remote work, flexible hours, and reduced schedules) can have is so great that 97% of people say that having a more flexible job would have a “huge” or “positive” impact on their quality of life.
Stress is present even in people who love their jobs. Sometimes you just need a breather to do your job without any noisy co-worker and office politics.
Better productivity can be stemmed from an employee working at a peaceful working environment without any of the mental stress to bog him down.
Allowing your employees to schedule their own work hours, doesn’t mean that they will grow tardy.
In fact, the opposite might seem to be true.
You could see an increase in productivity as well as business productivity (as long as you set clear boundaries with tools like OKRs).
If you are still hesitant, you can try out a flexible working schedule for a week or month and see if it works for your organization.
Decoding and Driving Employee Engagement