Flexible working is an increasingly popular response solution to the challenges of the modern, unpredictable world of business. With more people opting to work from home as well as the office, it provides the freedom to choose hours that suit the job that needs to be done and balance that with the things that make life worth living.
As long as the work is being delivered, it can offer great advantages to everyone. But what does a flexible work schedule look like, and what would be the best system for your business?
So, what is a flexible work schedule?
A flexible work schedule is one that allows employees to adapt their working hours rather than follow the traditional 9-5. This benefits employees, both full-time and part-time, in allowing them to schedule paid duties around their everyday life and employers who see the benefits of a more satisfied and productive workforce.
The types of flexible work schedules
Flexible work schedules come in all shapes and sizes. Here are some of most popular models you might want to consider:
- Part-time working: when an employee works for less than the company’s standard full-time contract.
- Job shares: two or more people share a role: either with the same duties or doing separate aspects of the position.
- Term-time working: great for parents, this allows employees to take paid or unpaid leave during school holidays.
- Flexitime: a degree of flexibility is offered as to when staff start and finish their working day. For example, they could choose to work 8-4, or 10-6 instead of the standard 9-5.
- Compressed hours: an individual works full-time hours over a shorter period. Most recently we have seen experiments around doing four longer days to make a four-day week.
- Remote working: staff work from home, or from a different location such as a coffee shop, or even a beach hut.
You can find out more about these types of schedules in this article.
The benefits of a flexible work schedule
The reason businesses adopt flexible work schedules is that they offer real benefits for both employer and employee. Let’s take a look at some of them.
Benefits for employers
The bottom line is productivity. People are more likely to get things done when they have the time and space to do so. Flexible working can make employees more effective by reducing stress and helping them manage their routines to suit the way they work.
Happier workers are also more likely to turn up for work and the negative presenteeism factor is also eliminated when it becomes the norm for people to arrive and leave the office at different times. Costs can be reduced by being more flexible about office space or downsizing and hot desking can be introduced. The attractions of flexible working can also expand the available talent pool and provide a useful tool for attracting the best when hiring.
Benefits for employees
Work-life balance is often cited as a reason why an employer is good to work for. Flexible working delivers this in spades and gives real control to the individual about how they lead their life and enjoy their work. It is also beneficial to those who may have access issues meaning no need to traverse badly designed disabled entrances or feel limited by mental health issues which make offices a less attractive place to work.
Flexibility reduces stress and the danger of burnout. People with young families can give their little ones the attention they need whilst still delivering on their jobs. In short, flexible working is empowering, practical and can make any role far more satisfying.
Have you gone flexible yet?
Adopting a flexible working policy does not mean following a set of preordained rules. As you’ll see from the variety of approaches available, there are plenty of options to pick and choose from to match the needs of your business and employees.
With technology available from Condeco by Eptura such as room booking software, flexible working does not need to be hard to implement. So what are you waiting for? It’s time to get flexible.