Give the Workplace Gift Everyone Needs: Flexibility!
As summer winds down, the workplace gift employees appreciate most is a flexible schedule!
As people take last-minute summer outings and families prepare kids for the new school years, work/life balance is more important than ever.
Late August is especially challenging for parents and caregivers sending older kids off to college and preparing younger ones to go back to school. There are some responsibilities people just need to take care of during a workday, like meeting their child’s Kindergarten teacher or attending mandatory parent school meetings. A little flexibility this time of year can go a long way to building employee loyalty and morale. It’s a valuable workplace gift indeed – and it’s good for your business, too!
GivE Workers the Workplace Gift of Flextime!
Work Quality Improves
According to the Michigan State University Family Resource Center, flex time increases productivity and improves work quality. When employees can schedule their workday around other responsibilities, they have more peace of mind and are better able to focus on their work and give it their full mental and emotional attention. That’s a workforce gift to you, as the employer.
Less Absenteeism and Turnover
In “4 Reasons to Offer Employees Flexible Schedules,” Sharlyn Lauby, the HR Bartender blogger, shares observations from Kate Lister, president of Global Workplace Analytics. Lister notes statistics from Families and Work Institute:
- In companies without flexible scheduling, over two-thirds of employees feel they don’t have enough time for themselves (64%), their spouse (67%), or their children (73%).
- In companies with a high level of workplace flexibility the numbers are lower–51% (self), 57% (spouse), and 66% (children).
- Low wage employees are the most time-starved.
Flex time clearly helps people manage their personal and work lives more easily. Consider how you can offer flex time benefits to your low wage workers. A little help for them may yield great benefits them and your workplace.
Inspires Results-focused Management
With flexible scheduling or telecommuting, companies have to make employees accountable for results, not face time (which is a better management practice anyway). If you’ve set clear goals, you’ll know if employees are getting the results you expect.
It’s an opportunity to coach managers so they remember to set results-based goals rather than dictating how, when, and where things need to happen. Supervisors and their teams should agree on goals and measures. This lets employees know exactly what to deliver when — and where they can work! Managers shift their focus to organizational strategy rather than timekeeping.
Flexible work schedules require coordination, communication, and collaboration–and a new mindset–but they’re a boon to your business.
Promotes Productivity improvements
Aliah D. Wright, author of A Necessary Evil, (about managing workplace social media) posted “Study: Teleworkers More Productive—Even When Sick,” on the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) site. She references the Remote Collaborative Worker Survey, conducted by ConnectSolutions.
The survey reveals that, of people working remotely at least a few times per month, 77% report greater productivity while offsite; 30% accomplish more in less time, and 24% said they accomplish more in the same amount of time. They have fewer interruptions when working remotely and are motivated to work harder to preserve their flexible scheduling benefit.
Nearly a quarter of telecommuters (23%) are willing to work longer hours from home than they normally would onsite to accomplish more. And nearly half (42%) feel just as connected with coworkers as if they were on-site.
Michael Fitzpatrick, CEO of ConnectSolutions, released a statement about the results:
“Even the personal benefits workers experience can be viewed as employer benefits since workers tend to be happier, less stressed out and healthier thereby bringing down the costs of turnover, absenteeism, lower productivity and other issues.”
improves employee satisfaction and work/life balance
ConnectSolutions’ study participants saw a significant financial benefit to working remotely. A third reported saving $5,240 per year in expenses such as day care, transportation, lunch and dry cleaning. Imagine what that could mean to your employees! Other stated advantages include personal satisfaction and better work/life balance:
- 45% get more sleep
- 35% exercise more
- 42% eat healthier
- 44% have a more positive attitude
- 53% are less stressed.
- 51% spend more time with loved ones
- 51% have greater job satisfaction
SHRM’s Workplace Flexibility Resource Page includes a list of articles and reports for businesses considering flexible scheduling and/or telecommuting.
With no need to call in sick to attend a school meeting or take care of other personal obligations, employees are absent less and more likely to be loyal to your company. If you allow people to take time off as needed–within reason–and complete their work during other hours, they’ll be less stressed and better able to add value for you. Flexibility is a workplace gift that benefits your business and your workers!
For more great tips and insights into building a vibrant culture of engagement and work/life balance, be sure to download our free e-book, “The Top 20 Employee Engagement Blogs You Should be Reading.”
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