For many business and creative professionals in Maryland, a regular nine to five job just isn’t appealing anymore. And with many employers offering opportunities that allow workers to telecommute, work from home, or keep non-traditional hours, high-level employees no longer have to submit to the daily grind if they so choose. That means that employers who don’t offer these options may lose their ability to attract great employees. Fortunately, flexible scheduling might actually be a good thing for business owners, too. Read on to discover why.
It Plays to Employees’ Strengths
What’s the most productive time of day for an employee? The answer is: it varies. Some people are at their best early in the morning and prefer to tackle the work day shortly after the sun comes up. Others would rather sleep in and burn the midnight oil. Similarly, our ability to be productive can be strongly influenced by location. Believe it or not, many employees find the traditional office environment too distracting to get much meaningful work done. Offering flexibility in time and location means that employees won’t be wasting their time or yours.
It Restores the Work-Life Balance
Modern professionals value their free time, their family lives, and their recreational pursuits. And guess what? Employees who take time to attend to these things are more productive and happier in their jobs, meaning they’re less likely to seek out a better opportunity. Studies conducted by the Work, Family, and Health Network have shown that flexible scheduling is an important part of being a “family-supportive” business, and leads to increased job satisfaction, less stress, and improved mental health for both workers and families.
It Increases Productivity
Here’s where flexible scheduling options start to sound like a good idea for employers and not just employees. A recent study conducted by the Stanford Graduate School of Business found that call center employees who were allowed to work from home increased their productivity by 13 percent over a nine-month period. Calculate in a decreased need for office space and commuting costs, and allowing employees to work remotely has the potential to significantly reduce the cost of doing business.
The Downside of Flex Options
Of course, allowing for flexible scheduling isn’t a magic bullet solution; in fact, for some employees and businesses, it may not be a good idea at all. Many businesses thrive on the interactions between workers, and not having that type of interaction can make certain employees lonely and depressed. Other jobs simply can’t be done remotely or during different hours. If your business is considering offering employees more flexibility, make sure you thoroughly understand your business and employee needs before making the transition.
Making Flex Options Work for your Business
When it comes to implementing flexible scheduling options, the key is, flexibility. Start by taking inventory of your business needs, and decide which flexible options make the most sense. Changes can occur at a company-wide level, or simply be entrusted to managers and offered informally under the right circumstances. Don’t be afraid to ask employees what they want, and to change course if necessary. For more information about how to make flex options work for your business, go to www.workflexibility.org.
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