So, how flexible should your companies work schedule be? If you manage or own a small business, you’ve more than likely asked yourself this question—how flexible should our schedule be? COVID has changed the world and the workplace. Companies have been compelled to allow employees to work from home, create flex time, flexible locations, and more.
How Flexible Should Your Companies Work Schedule be?
What should you embrace? How will it affect production? What do employees expect? Don’t sweat it. You’re probably already more flexible than you think.
How flexible are you?
If a valuable employee came to you needing to adjust his or her hours to fit childcare or care for an elderly parent, would you accommodate them? How many employees work outside of the office, from home, or while traveling? Do you allow employees to swap shifts and fill in for each other? If so, you’ve created a flexible work environment.
If an employee can do it from home, make it so
If an employee can complete a task from home, allow it and make it easy for them. Some of you will think working from home is less productive, and you have no control over what they do. However, that’s not true.
A study by Standford of 16,000 workers over nine months found that working from home increases productivity by 13%. This increase in performance was due to more calls per minute attributed to a quieter, more convenient working environment and working more minutes per shift because of fewer breaks and sick days. Surprising Work from Home Statistics 2021. Do you want another reason to allow your team to work from home? The Study reported that due to improved work satisfaction, they cut attrition rates by 50%. Employees stayed at their jobs even in these stressful times.
I’ve heard employers complain they had little or no control over remote workers. They are wrong. You do have control over your work-from-home team. You should manage what they get done, not when they punch a timecard. If a work-from-home employee completes the tasks you expect and does so correctly and on time, what else do you want? Manage their activities, not the time clock.
Why should you be flexible?
A flexible work environment that focuses on work-life balance will attract and retain valuable team members and foster a positive work culture. Working in an employee-friendly, upbeat culture is almost always more productive than the opposite. Through flexibility, employee recognition, fair pay, and benefits, an atmosphere can be created that enhances production rather than the opposite, where employees may even sabotage work.
But what if the work can’t be done from home?
Production, maintenance, retail, and foodservice, among others, require employees to be on location. So, what can you do to improve your flexibility?
As we mentioned, you can offer flex hours to fit the needs of employees within the framework of the organization’s requirements. Other examples include:
Compressed work weeks
Such as four 10 hours days producing four days on and three days off work schedule.
For example, a daily onsite schedule of 10 am to 3 pm with the expectation of working a total of eight hours per day either off-site or before or after the core hours.
Allow employees to work shifts most suited to their lifestyle and swap shifts as long as all shifts are covered.
Staggered hours are excellent for production and fitting the needs of team members. Staggering lunch and breaks can be very productive. Or here’s another example, employee A is an early riser and would prefer to begin work early while employee B sees his children on the bus every day. In this scenario, staggering hours could be a win-win.
Job sharing is when two or more employees share the same job title and responsibilities. Job sharing has been used extensively in medical facilities where doctors and nurses share the care of patients.
Part-time works well for transitioning employees such as students learning the industry, parents seeking time with children, or near retirement employees who want to stay involved on a limited basis.
How flexible should your companies work schedule be?
To answer that question you need to understand what’s best for your business. Only you and your team can answer that but let me leave you with this. The world is changing, and our workforce is changing with it. There’s a new focus on understanding what’s important. Work is one of those important factors in all our lives—it’s just not the only one. Finding a flexible fit for your team can improve performance, increase production, and make for a positive workplace. How flexible is your business? How flexible should you be?
How Can I Help You?
I like to help people and organizations, but I have three criteria I consider before taking an assignment – I believe in what the organization stands for, I know I can help, and it looks like fun. If you have any questions, Contact Me.
Does your business have a management training plan? Many organizations, large and small, use my book, The New Manager’s Workbook, a crash course in effective management, as the basis for their leadership development program. I’m also available to conduct training.