Have you ever gone on vacation where there is no “signal”? If so, you probably experienced a true vacation since no one could drag you back to work via smartphone! These types of off-the-grid places are few and far between for the average American. We are always available!
Gone is the assumed “working 9-5” norm. There is no way to deny that technology has blurred the line between work and personal time, and people have a legitimate need for work-life balance. One way balance can be achieved is with a flexible workplace. The good news? Flexibility in the workplace can benefit both employees and employers!
Types of Flexible Work Arrangements
When thinking about flexible work, it is important to know that there are all types in various forms. Below is a list of the most common types of flexible work arrangements in play today:
- Part-Time Employment
- Job-Sharing (i.e. 2+ employee’s part-time employees work the same job dividing hours and tasks)
- Phased-In/Out Work Hours (i.e. gradually return to work after leave and/or gradually decrease of work leading up to retirement)
- Flexible Scheduling (i.e. employees are present during core work times, but when they arrive and leave the office varies)
- Compressed Workweeks (i.e. longer hours per day with fewer workdays)
- Hoteling (i.e. employees share workspace if only present in the office sporadically during the workweek)
What works best for an organization or the individual worker varies. It’s important to know what the makeup of the workforce looks like. For example, are there a lot of employees having children, retiring, or new to the working world? Whatever type of flexible work environment is adopted, be assured they can be used to attract, retain and enable the workforce to work at its optimal level.
Advantages for Employees
As the workforce becomes younger and younger, there is an undeniable need for a flexible work environment. In fact, 59% of Millennials in North America have said that flexibility at work is essential to achieve work-life balance. Millennials aren’t the only workers to benefit, however. Below is a list of advantages any employee, no matter their age, can gain from a flexible workplace:
- Ability to meet family needs, personal obligations (i.e. attending a child’s sporting event, taking a family member to a doctor’s appointment, being able to be home for an appliance repair person)
- Cutting down on the costs of commuting to/from the office (i.e. costs eliminated if telecommuting or minimized by avoiding high traffic commute times)
- Increased feeling of control over day-to-day schedule and/or workload
- Ability to function at the highest level (i.e. if the employee isn’t an “early bird”, flexible work hours allows them to come in later and stay later, allowing them to work when most productive)
- Option to decrease/eliminate external child’s day-care hours and costs (i.e. if both parents have flexible work environments, outside child care is no longer needed)
When employees are happy, production/creativity goes up. As a result, the employer also benefits from flexibility in the workplace.
Advantages for Employers
It’s nice to provide for the worker and make sure everyone is as happy and productive as possible. But what is really in it for the employer? A lot!
- Higher employee retention
- High worker morale
- Reduced absenteeism
- Increased productivity
- Maximized work hours
- Potential to extend hours of operation
These are just a few benefits for employers who offer flexibility to their employees. Overall, flexibility in the workplace can make an employee happy by providing a way to strike a balance between work life and personal life.
Don’t forget that a happy employee also makes for a “happy” organization. When the workforce has work-life balance, the organization can’t help but thrive as a result.
Timothy Dimoff Knows the Positive Impacts of a Flexible Workforce
Invite Timothy Dimoff in to give his Advantages of a Flexible Workforce presentation to your organization and learn in greater detail about the positive impact for both employee and employer. Please contact Tim at [email protected] for more information.