If you are involved in the corporate world, you have likely heard the term ‘flextime’ begin to emerge more and more as a popular way to describe worker schedules.
Flextime is simply a work schedule that allows for employees to have some control over when they work their hours. This can include working different days of the week, starting and stopping work at different times, or taking time off in the middle of the day.
The appeal of flextime is clear. It can improve employee morale by giving them a sense of control and flexibility, which is something that many workers crave in the modern world. Additionally, flextime can also lead to increased productivity, as employees are able to work when they are most productive.
In this article, we will explore three reasons why flextime can improve output and morale in the workplace, as well as how you can start to implement flexible schedules in your business.
Let’s get started!
What are flexible schedules?
Before the rise in workplace technology, the 9–5 workday was the norm. However, in recent years, there has been a shift towards more flexible working hours. This is in part due to more people working from home, and the increasing popularity of flextime and job sharing.
Flexible schedules can mean a variety of things, but usually refers to working hours that are not fixed or rigid. This could include starting and finishing work at different times each day, taking breaks during the day, or working from home some days of the week.
While not all WFH employees have flexible schedules, the majority are given the freedom to manage their own hours to some extent. This can be an important perk for those who want to avoid long commutes, or want to have more control over their work-life balance.
Flexible schedules have the following incredible benefits for your team:
- Better Output: When team members have more control over their own time, they are able to work more efficiently. This is especially true for those who have family obligations or other commitments outside of work.
- Improved Morale: Giving employees the freedom to manage their own hours often leads to a boost in morale. When team members feel like they have some control over their lives, they are less likely to feel stressed or overwhelmed.
- Increased Productivity: In a study by the Society for Human Resource Management, 67% of HR reps said that flexible working arrangements had a positive impact on productivity. This is likely due to the fact that employees are able to work when they are most productive, and that they have fewer distractions when working from home.
If your team is looking for a way to improve output and morale, consider giving them flexible schedules. Not only will this lead to a more productive team, but it will also make them happier and less stressed.
Why flexible schedules improve output and morale
So, why exactly does flextime improve output and morale in such an effective way? Let’s go through three of the key reasons.
1. Flexible hours make it possible for employees to balance their work with their personal lives
One of the biggest benefits of flextime is that it allows employees to better balance their work with their personal lives.
For example, if someone needs to take care of a sick family member or pick up a child from school, they can do so without having to worry about losing their job. This is because they can work from home or come in to work later in the day, when their personal responsibilities are taken care of.
When employees are given autonomy over their own schedules, the following changes take place:
- They feel more in control of their lives and work/life balance
- They are able to manage their time better
- They have more flexibility to deal with unexpected events or changes in their personal life
- They can work the hours that are best for them, which can improve their productivity
This improved balance also means that employees are less stressed out and have more time for themselves outside of work. As a result, they are more relaxed and happier when they are at work, which leads to increased productivity.
2. A flexible schedule leaves room for professional development
One of the key factors in employee morale is their capacity to develop and progress in their careers. Unfortunately, for many employees, their job doesn’t always leave enough room for professional development.
A flexible schedule, however, can easily make space for learning opportunities both within and outside the office. Whether it means attending a class after work or taking a short course over the weekend, employees with a flextime arrangement are more likely to take advantage of professional development opportunities.
And, as we all know, employee growth is key to maintaining a motivated and productive workforce.
When employees are given the chance to learn and grow, the following benefits often follow:
- They feel more valued and appreciated by their employer
- They are better equipped to take on new challenges and responsibilities
- They are more likely to stay with the company for a longer period of time
All of which contribute to an overall increase in productivity and morale.
3. Flextime is attractive to new talent
The workforce is constantly changing, and companies are always in competition to attract the best talent. Flextime is a perk that many potential employees find attractive. It shows that the company cares about its employees’ personal lives and wants them to have a healthy work-life balance.
Offering flextime also sends the message that the company is flexible and willing to work with employees’ schedules. This can be especially important for parents who are looking for a job that will allow them to balance their work and family responsibilities.
When looking for a new job, some of the main things that employees are looking for include:
- A good work-life balance
- The ability to take time off when needed
- A flexible schedule
- Work from home options
In fact, 92% of millennial employees said they would prefer a job with flextime options, identifying it as a top priority when searching for new jobs.
Therefore, by offering flextime, companies are in a better position to both attract and retain top talent. This is going to improve output exponentially, as top talent is naturally going to achieve greater results for your company.
How to create flexibility in the workplace
You know that flexible schedules improve output and morale for three key reasons — so how can you create flexibility in your workplace?
1. Communication is key.
Talk to your team about their needs and wants when it comes to scheduling, and be open to negotiation. You may find that some people are more productive early in the morning, while others work better later in the day. Allow employees to shift their hours around within reason, and be sure to keep communication open so that everyone is aware of what’s going on.
2. Be prepared to adjust.
As your team changes and grows, you may find that you need to adjust the hours you’ve offered for flexibility. Be prepared to change with the times — and be willing to listen to your team if they have suggestions on how to improve things.
3. Encourage work/life balance.
One of the benefits of flexible schedules is that it allows employees more time for their personal lives. Encourage them to use this time wisely, and be sure to lead by example. Take time for yourself, and let your team know that it’s okay to do the same.
Creating a flexible workplace isn’t always easy, but the benefits are undeniable. By communicating with your team, being prepared to adjust, and encouraging work/life balance, you can create a flexible environment that will improve output and morale.
Top tips for setting up your flexible employee schedule
Restructuring your current schedule to be more flexible is a challenge in itself. Here are a few tips to help get you started:
- Make use of technology. Tools like Google Calendar and Outlook make it easy to see everyone’s schedule at a glance and to book meeting times.
- Be clear about expectations. When employees know what is expected of them, they are more likely to be successful working outside of the traditional 9–5 model.
- Create a communication plan. Establish who will be responsible for checking in with team members on a regular basis, and how that will be done.
- Get organized. Having a designated place to store all of your work materials can help keep you productive when working from home or outside the office.
And, wherever possible, be flexible. As with anything, there may be times when the schedule needs to be tweaked in order to best meet the needs of the team.
Flexible Schedules: Final thoughts
Flextime isn’t going anywhere in a hurry, and the demand for such arrangements will only continue to increase — so employers would be wise to consider implementing them. Besides, the benefits you can gain from flextime are many, and they go far beyond simply improving your output and morale.
There’s a good reason why flextime is becoming an increasingly popular perk among employees — it works! If you’re still on the fence about whether to implement a flexible schedule in your workplace, hopefully this article has helped changed your mind.