Does your company provide flexible work schedules for employees? Flexibility is in the workplace conversation so much today that it has become jargon or a buzzword. However, there may be a difference in opinion of what employees deem flexibility to mean and what employers think flexibility is. Some companies can have more difficulty offering flexible working options because they operate in specific or secure working environments. In those cases, employees must be on-site to utilize the systems and perform particular tasks.
A recent poll asked executives and professionals, “What does having flexible work schedules mean to you?” Many executives and managers often wonder why flexibility is even essential in the office. The poll responses showed that flexible working can be why people choose to work for a company, increase their productivity and focus more at work. Some professionals even highlight flexible work as “the difference between accepting an interesting job opportunity or rejecting it.” Here are the top, three attributes of flexible work to professionals.
Remote & Telecommute Options
Offering remote and telecommuting working options for employees can be seen as a highly beneficial incentive. Not having to pay for transportation and spending hours on long commutes can allow employees to spend more time performing their roles. While making a position telecommute entirely might not be an option, could your company offer the option to remote in once or twice a week? Some comments from participants within the poll highlighted this point:
- “The ability to remote in a couple of days per week.”
- “My organization is focused on what I accomplish, not when I’m in the office.”
- “It means everything. Work-life balance, not stuck in traffic sometimes or always spending more time driving, remotely working, etc.….”
Ability to Work Non-Traditional, or 9 to 5, Hours
In the US, the concept of a job as a commitment from 9 am to 5 pm is pretty common. However, this strict schedule may not be the best choice for some workers. Many companies now provide the option for employees to come in before 9 am and other staff to arrive later and leave after 5 pm. Where could your company adjust the schedule so there are more choices for employees with different needs? Professionals who responded to the poll noted:
- “Not having strict ‘on-site’ hours (you should be able to work the hours that are better for you as long as you are productive).”
- “Flexible working options mean flexible location and hours.”
- “Flexible working options mean to me that the staff should be able to choose flexible working hours as long as none of the meetings are missed and the work gets done.”
Freedom to Handle Personal Issues
A personal or family emergency comes up for almost everybody at some time through their career. If you work for a strict business, it can become a struggle to ask for a schedule change or time off to handle unexpected issues. Some employees may even have anxiety around asking for time adjustments to attend various appointments for their children or themselves. A few participants from the poll emphasized the following key points:
- “One should have the freedom to come in late or leave early if there is a personal issue, but to ensure that the project meets the timelines.”
- “[I’m] able to handle personal needs and issues (i.e., car repair/kids activities/appointments).”
- “Work is part of life but should not obstruct normal living. Work should complement life, allowing for a balance of handling the tasks you need to do for life and work, as long as the ability is not abused.”
The concept of flexible work schedules can seem unattainable or abstract for many companies. A poll was conducted to discover what flexible working options mean to executives and professionals. Poll respondents mentioned having the ability to work non-traditional hours, remote or telecommute options, and the freedom to take care of personal issues as part of their definitions. Offering flexible working options such as the ones described can help improve employee engagement, productivity, and recruiting efforts. What is one flexible work schedule incentive that your company can propose right now?
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