In a candidate-driven market, more companies are proactively looking for ways to more effectively attract, engage and retain quality employees. One of the considerations that has been a rising trend in employee benefit packages is flexible work hours. This versatile scheduling option deviates from normal company start to close hours. For a candidate who needs more freedom than your standard nine to five position, this could be an instant attention grabber and ultimately a major win for your talent attraction efforts.
Flexible schedule packages are often presented as part of an overall work-life balance culture, and can be set up in a number of ways. Some organizations allocate hours that to be met each week or month, but leave the time in which the hours are completed to the discretion of the employee. Other organization simply establish an alternative schedule with a later start and end time or work-from-home options. It is essential to note that flexible work time is not addressed under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), and that alternative work arrangements must be made between the employer and employee directly.
There are numerous benefits for both employees and employers in offering a level of flexibility in a work schedule. Employees have expressed feeling less stressed, increased job satisfaction and loyalty, while employers have acknowledged a spike in productivity, employee retention and a decrease in sick and vacation time.
Learn more about the potential benefits and difficulties in offering flexible work schedules:
Why it’s a win:
High-quality candidates are often searching for a place of employment that fits into their lives, and offering a flexible schedule might just be the perk that pushes them to apply. According to Zenefits.com, 77 percent of employees view flexible work arrangements as a major consideration when evaluating future job opportunities.
Employees are happier and healthier
Allowing employees to create a schedule that works for them can reduce stress, anxiety and exhaustion by enabling them to take better care of themselves and their families. Studies have shown that flexible work policies result in employees who are mentally and physically healthier, which means the quality and quantity of their work increases. Zenefits.com also reports that 73 percent of employees said flexible schedules increased their satisfaction at work.
Studies have shown that happier, healthier and more committed employees are more likely to step up their work productivity. Additionally, by allowing employees to work from home, the time spent on a daily commute is reduced or eliminated, which means they can direct their energy on the work they put in, and less on the struggles they may encounter in their commute. According to SHRM, 75 percent of employees who are on flexible work schedules said the timeliness of their work improved, 69 percent reported higher productivity, and 67 percent said the overall quality of their work improved.
Why it could be a bust:
Allowing for too much flexibility in employee work schedules can quickly result in conflict when it comes to staff or team meetings. Depending on how diverse the scheduling at your company is, it may become nearly impossible to conduct meetings as it will always fall outside of someone’s availability.
Difficulty in Team-bonding
Building on scheduling conflicts, flexible work hours often result in more of an empty office. When staff are unlikely to be in the office at the same time, the situation could create difficulty in creating a team mentality. This has potential to be a deal-breaker for creative agencies or companies where communication and team dynamics are especially paramount to their success.
While the idea of a flexible work schedule will appeal to some employees, for others it may become a hindrance where they begin to feel they are always working or are unable to truly separate personal time from work time. Each employee will need to make the assessment if this type of schedule will produce the most desired results in terms of work-related productivity as well as a balance in their personal life.
It is necessary to develop an honest assessment of your company, staff and workflow in order to uncover if offering flexible work schedules is a viable option for you. This benefit can have great rewards for both the employer and employee if properly managed and expectations are clearly outlined.