It seems that the trend in the workplace currently is that more flexibility is beneficial for employees. The research shows that allowing employees more flexible work schedules actually improves working conditions, morale, and productivity. But is this something that every company should explore? Perhaps. It’s important to take a few factors into consideration when thinking about a scheduling switch.
One of the most common arguments for a more flexible work schedule is the fact that employees have been shown to be more productive in these environments. Why is this? Perhaps workers enjoy feeling more empowered to work when they’re most productive. Most people don’t enjoy having to report in or check-in with their supervisors for every request, such as a doctor’s appointment or a kid who’s homesick for the day.
By allowing employees to have more control over their schedules, their productivity may actually increase as a result
Many employees place a lot of value on having freedom and flexibility, and they’ll do whatever they can to ensure that this remains the case. Motivation comes from different places for everyone, but a common theme is that freedom motivates many people.
Working on a flexible schedule or a remote schedule can also cut down on sick days and paid time off taken by employees. While workers should absolutely have the right to take sick days, these still come at a cost to the company. If a worker who would ordinarily have to use a sick day to tend to a sick child or go to a doctor’s appointment could just do their work from a remote location instead, the productivity cost of the day would be much less.
Another argument for remote work comes from a place of wanting engaged and empowered employees. Let’s say that a prominent public relations firm is seeing high levels of burnout due to the pressure brought on by high profile clients. While industries such as PR often are not as conducive to remote work—often, a team environment is encouraged and with fast-paced industries such as public relations being present in one place is often beneficial—there is nonetheless an argument for exploring flexibility as it pertains to improved morale.
Testing out different variations of flexible scheduling could lead to some surprisingly positive results for even the busiest agencies
And with the availability of networking and messaging platforms such as Slack and Asana for project management, workers no longer need to be in the same room to collaborate with others.
It may seem difficult to steer away from the traditional workday, but times have certainly shifted and many companies are doing so, too. Doing some experimentation with flexible scheduling could yield results that improve metrics with stronger performances from employees.
Employee satisfaction should always be a top priority for a company. After all, miserable employees won’t get nearly as much quality work done, and a toxic work environment is extremely difficult to repair. Being willing to try new approaches to a traditional working format is one way that companies can ensure that their workplace stays productive and not toxic.