Flexibility: flexibility work practices22nd February 2021
The easiest way to define workplace flexibility is to think of it as an agreement between employer and employee. The agreement usually consists of three components.
Advantages for employers and employees exist when the employer allows employees to work flexible schedules. Whether the flexible work schedule involves compressing work days, flexible daily hours, or telecommuting, challenges exist for the employer and the employee. These challenges have multiplied during the coronavirus pandemic as unheard-of numbers of employees, for reasons of safety, are working remotely from home.
- Choose where they work from
- Create a work schedule that works best for them
- Schedule their work day however they want
Employees get an increased feeling of personal control over their 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.
Built-in flexibility also reduces employee burnout due to overload. Flexibility means employees can take a break when they need it without incurring the wrath of a manager.
As an employer, you may think that this sounds like a freelancer schedule. And, freelancing is, indeed, one category of flexible work. However, flexible work can also include:
- Part-time work
- Fully remote teams
- Work-from-anywhere arrangements
- Compressed work weeks (working 40 hours over four days instead of five)
- Alternative schedule jobs (working second or third shift)
- Temporary work
- Seasonal jobs
- Gig work
Employers benefit from allowing flexible work schedules for their staff.
- Improves Retention
Allowing your existing employees to work flexible schedules can help you retain valuable staff. Without a doubt, flexible schedules are one of the most important perks employees want from their employers.
- Attracts Top Talent
Given that many job seekers are more interested in a flexible schedule than other perks, and that flexible work benefits companies as much as it does employees, it stands to reason that offering flexible schedules can help you recruit more top tier talent.
- Improves Diversity
If you’re limiting your candidate pool to a single location (or even a few locations), you’ll have a narrower group of candidates. And if you’re in a homogenous locale, your workforce is likely to become less diverse. Even if you pay for relocation, you’re asking candidates to be part of a less diverse community, which could be a turn off and cause you to miss out.
- Increases Productivity
One of the reasons employers often won’t allow staff to work flexibly is that they think if they can’t keep a watchful eye on their employees, they won’t work. However, working flexibly can actually increase employee productivity.
- Improves Employee Engagement
Engaged employees are those who understand what their role is and how what they do contributes to the company’s success. One of the ways companies create a culture of engagement is by creating a workplace that empowers and respects employees.