The regular 9 to 5 workday has gone to the wayside across many industries. With professionals looking to better manage their work and personal lives, flexible scheduling is a major factor they are focusing on when searching for new employment opportunities. This goes beyond the perks of early dismissals on holidays and the occasional extra day off. Professionals are seeking more flexibility in the workplace, and guess what? They can demand it in today’s candidate-driven market.
However, there are many benefits to flexible scheduling for employers as well! When implemented in a way that works for the business and meets the needs of your staff, a flexible scheduling policy can boost morale, productivity, and retention. Here are a few ways to accomplish this:
Alternative work hours
Employees may need more flexibility in their work schedule for a variety of reasons. Whether that is to devote more time to their families, treat a more serious medical condition, or make it to an appointment, every employee should be given an equal opportunity for flexible scheduling. Some easy ways to offer this is through a compressed work week, telecommunicating, or on & off-peak scheduling and many more. Whether it’s coming into work earlier to leave earlier or vice versa, simple accommodations like this go a long way with employee morale and retention. It also keeps the path to leadership and equal opportunities available while breeding a healthier work environment for all.
“Work from home” option
Employees might often use one of their Paid Time Off (PTO) days for a “mental health day”. No trips might be planned or doctor’s appointments scheduled, just a day for themselves to be out and away from the office in a relaxed environment. To keep the workflow consistent while allowing employees to stay mentally fresh, a happy medium could be implementing a “Work from home” policy. With videoconferencing and communication programs like Slack on the rise, this option is extremely feasible. By giving them the luxury of working from the comfort of their own home, your company will increase employee morale while also sustaining productivity.
Trial & (scheduling) error
Flexibility can mean different things for different employees. As a result, opportunities for flexible scheduling can be brought up and negotiated on an employee-to-employee basis. While you should keep an open mind about what flexible solution you offer each individual, it’s important to ensure the arrangement works for both the employee and the business before it become set in stone. After a few months, a meeting with the employee to evaluate their work input in that time period is a must. If all signs point to positivity, a tailor-made schedule and maybe even offering more leeway to that employee would be the way to go. However, if work efficiency has dipped, re-evaluating the process and adjusting accordingly are certainly not out of the question. While it’s important to the keep the needs of the employee in mind, you also have to ensure the business continuity.
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