It shouldn’t come as a surprise that today’s professionals are demanding more flexibility from their employers. Believing that productivity shouldn’t be measured by hours in the office, but rather by results, they are looking for flexible scheduling opportunities that will allow them to have more control over their work and personal lives. This is especially true in today’s hyperconnected world where employees are taking more of their work home and more of their personal lives to the office.
While it’s clear that the “traditional” 9-5 workday is quickly disappearing, employers are struggling to keep up with the demand for flexible scheduling. Why? Leaders, as Cali Yost writes, “incorrectly think it’s an HR policy or program not requiring their time and attention.”
Unfortunately, this misconception can cost you your best talent. 71% of working professionals said they would change jobs if they were offered flexible scheduling in a new role, according to our 2019 Hiring Outlook. As a result, flexibility is something that needs to be deeply engrained into company culture. Since culture starts at the top, leadership has a responsibility to set the precedent and empower employees to take advantage of these flexible scheduling opportunities without fear of repercussion.
Whether they are looking to improve their work-life balance, better care for a family member, or manage a long commute, flexibility means different things for different employees. As a result, all employees—regardless of their tenure or what stage they are in their lives—should have more freedom to choose where, how, and when they work. For some, this may mean working a compressed work week. For others, this may involve working from home at least one day a week.
As more professionals begin to prioritize work-life balance when making career decisions, this is a trend you need to get on board with. If you are still not convinced, here are three reasons to offer more flexibility in the workplace:
Employees are less stressed
With only so many hours in a day, it’s common for professionals to feel spread too thin in both their work and personal lives. This can lead to high levels of burn out and stress, which may lead them to feel like they are failing on both fronts. A flexible schedule can help employees better manage these demands, helping them be more present and focused when they are at work.
It’s a major misconception that employees need to work traditional, full-time hours at the office in order to be productive. Given that your employees are most likely productive at different times (and in different places), this type of thinking can cause more harm than good. Offering flexible scheduling is a great way to enable your staff to work during the times (and in the environment) they can accomplish the most.
It builds trust + loyalty
Flexible scheduling is a great way to build trust between the company and your employees. While the employer gives individuals more autonomy over their schedules, employees are still expected to get their work done. This sense of control over their work-life balance can help employees feel more valued, which in turn, will help foster loyalty across the company.