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Adopting a Flexible Work Schedule

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By Townes Haas   |    May 28, 2015   |    10:13 AM

How to Get the Most From a Non-Traditional Office Schedule

Do you still do business on a 9-5 schedule?

If you do, you might want to consider making a change. The traditional workday is becoming outdated for many companies and executives are beginning to notice the benefits of switching up schedules. Alternate hours, four day work weeks, telecommuting… there’s a variety of options available that you can utilize to help your employees balance their lives, while keeping them happy and productive in the office.

Even the White House agrees that flexible scheduling is important, so continue reading to find out more about adopting a flexible work schedule for your company.

Determine the type of flexibility that will be offered

Your company could theoretically utilize any number of flexible scheduling options, but whichare the best for your unique situation? Start by surveying employees to see what they’re looking for in their schedule:

  • Do they want to work from home and telecommute more often? Would they be effective working from home?
  • Do they need more flexibility for picking up their children, caring for family members, or other obligations?
  • For staff who have to physically be in the office to do their job, would they prefer flexible or part-time hours?
  • Are there staff members who would rather arrive later and stay later, or arrive earlier and stay earlier?

Data shows that employees crave flexible work arrangements. In fact, nearly 80% of workers surveyed said that they would love more flexible work options, as long as there weren’t any negative consequences in the office. Ensure employees that flexible scheduling won’t affect their career advancement, and then work with them to figure out what their ideal solutions look like.

Make expectations clear

Once you’ve decided on the flexible scheduling that you’ll offer employees, you have to ensure that each member of the team understands what is expected of them so that you also benefit. Outline this clearly so that there isn’t any confusion and consider specifically addressing certain issues.

For example, with telecommuters, what time do they need to be in front of their computer? Will there be a protocol that they must follow when they’re away from their desks, like setting an away message? Being proactive and brainstorming potential issues can save management, and staff, a lot of stress in the long run.

Advantages of a flexible work schedule, for employers

When we talk about flexible work schedules the focus is often on the benefits that the employee will receive. However, there are a variety of benefits for the employer, too. Here are some of the biggest perks:

  • Increased employee engagement and happiness, which translates to a more productive workforce.
  • Reduced turnover – employees don’t want to lose this important benefit.
  • Increased productivity, because employees can do their best work when they’re most alert and motivated.
  • Staggering hours can allow you to have more staff coverage and longer business hours. This can be particularly helpful for customer support positions.
  • If you’ll be implementing telecommuting, you’ll save money on office space.
  • Attract more top talent, because employees value flexibility in their workplace.

Those are hardly the only benefits to using a flexible schedule, though. Can you think of any other employer advantages to utilizing a flexible schedule? Share them with other readers in the comments!
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