Flexibility in the Workplace Isn’t the Future: It’s Already Here
by Mike Henson (June 4, 2018)
According to a survey, there’s an unsettling number of employees who take work home with them. The number of people who put in more than the standard eight- or nine-hour workday is significant. So, why do some employers resist the growing trend of flexible work locations and schedules?
According to a survey, there’s an unsettling number of employees who take work home with them.
Consider the following:
50% of people check work-related emails in bed
57% read work emails at the dinner table
40% of employees are still working after 10 p.m.
It’s apparent the number of people who put in more than the standard eight- or nine-hour workday is significant.
So, why do some employers resist the growing trend of flexible work locations and schedules?
Why is it alright for employers to informally expect employees to work and eat at the same time – from home after hours – without having a formal flex-location policy in place?
Let’s face it: There aren’t very many good reasons, unless your business cannot enact such a policy due to security reasons or is a brick-and-mortar store where customers come in and out.
In fact, failing to have flexibility as part of your working foundation can be detrimental.
Seventy-two percent of people would be tempted to leave their current position if they could work somewhere with either full- or part-time flex-work locations. That means if you don’t have a flexible or work-from-home policy, nearly three quarters of your workforce would leave you for a place that did!
If you’re lacking such a policy to begin with, you probably have some concerns you want assuaged. Here are the answers – and associated benefits – for your company.
Q: How can we rollout this type of program while ensuring things still get done on time?
A: We recommend doing a pilot before rolling out to larger numbers or departments. Start small, with the group of employees with whom this would be easiest. Get their feedback, implement it, and then expand if it’s working.
Q: We understand the merits, but don’t want to relinquish total oversight of our employees. What can be done?
A: Simply put: It’s your business, and you can do whatever you want. As such, you can have mandated office hours for all employees, such as 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. every day, or make in-person meeting attendance mandatory.
Q: How can I be sure work is still being done properly and on time?
A: Being chained to an office doesn’t ensure productivity – sometimes, the opposite is the result. Disciplined remote workers are actually more efficient, with 54% accomplishing the same amount – or more – in the same or less amount of time.
Q: I want my company to be more flexible, but remote working just isn’t possible. Is there something else I can do?
A: There’s always another way. Flextime is one such option. Employees who work better before lunch can punch in at 7 a.m. and out at 3 p.m., while workers who hit their stride after lunch can start at 2 p.m. and end at 11 p.m.
If it works for your industry, allowing employees to work 80 hours within nine business days gives them a three-day weekend every other week.
In the end, it doesn’t matter where work gets done, as long as it’s actually getting done. Flexible work locations and schedules are becoming not only a way to attract top-talent, but also to maintain it.
If you need any guidance or suggestions to make the transition into this transformative way of working, we’d be glad to help.