There is a reason why the term “9-to-5” is synonymous with the typical office job. The eight hour stretch from morning to early evening has always been the standard schedule most people work.
However, many modern companies are rethinking the longstanding rules of the workplace. Along with dress codes and cubicles, the idea that every employee needs to work the exact same schedule is no longer commonly accepted. More and more companies are now allowing their employees to work flexible schedules instead.
That being said, most companies still follow fixed schedules. And large, established companies aren’t going to make drastic changes any time soon. But if your company is young, you might be considering what type of work schedule is best for your people and organization.
In this blog post, we’ll explore the advantages of both flexible and fixed schedules and provide some ideas for finding a middle ground when it comes to employee work hours.
Flexible schedule advantages
Flexible schedules differ from company-to-company but it generally means employees don’t have to adhere to set work hours. They might be free to leave at 3 pm and make up the extra hours at night or on the weekend. They might also be able to chose to work from home on days it’s more convenient for them. Companies that offer flexible work schedules often make it known employees are judged by the quality of their work – not how often they’re at their desks.
There is a lot to like about flexible schedules from the employee perspective. It provides the elusive work-life balance so many professionals are after. Instead of trying to drum up motivation when it’s just not there, a person can step away for an afternoon to re-energize. Having this option keeps them inspired and prevents them from getting burned out.
But offering a flexible schedule is more than just a cool employee perk. It’s very practical for working parents who have other commitments. A flexible schedule allows moms and dads to earn enough to provide for their children, while also being able to pick them up from school, coach their Little League team or stay home with them on sick days.
Fixed schedule advantages
Despite all the advantages of flexible schedules, having your entire team together all at once makes so much sense. If a person has a question for someone, they know exactly where to find them. Nothing gets held up because one person goes off the grid.
And while having the option to step away and re-energize sounds nice, it can certainly cause too much procrastination. People will be free to close their computer and say “I’ll do this tomorrow.” But with a fixed schedule, there is no getting out of work, so most people are able to find motivation and power through.
And of course, fixed schedules prevent some employees from having it better than others. People notice who frequently comes in late and leaves early. It can create resentfulness, jealousy and other unnecessary employee conflicts that distract people from what’s really important.
Can your company offer a flexible work schedule?
It’s easy to scoff at the idea of a flexible work schedule. Your company pays its employees a lot of money and they should be hard at work Monday through Friday, right?
That’s a fair take but the reality is flexible schedules are becoming more common as the world gets more connected. Your company could soon have trouble hiring and retaining talented employees if leadership is not willing to give them some freedom to work on their own schedule.
A flexible schedule doesn’t mean everyone is free to come and go as they please. People need to be available at certain times for business to proceed as usual. Here are some types of flexible schedules your company can consider moving to, without slowing employee productivity:
Flexible schedules are the way of the future
As we mentioned at the start of this blog post, the majority of the working world still follows a fixed schedule. But for how much longer? Technology already allows many of us to work remotely and will only continue to advance. We can’t predict the future but it seems safe to say flexible schedules will only become more common.
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