Let’s face it – the traditional 9-to-5 work schedule probably won’t be around for much longer. In order to stay relevant and attract the best candidates, organizations need to offer their employees flexible work opportunities.
Many employers still feel reluctant to allow employees to work from home or have flexible schedules. Managers often don’t feel like they can trust employees to work if they aren’t in the office during regular business hours because they equate work with facetime. The key to convincing managers of the benefits of flexible work schedules lies in getting them to adopt a different cultural attitude surrounding work.
Managers must understand exactly what their staff members are working on and which of those tasks are the most profitable for the company. They also have to measure the value of an employee’s work based on the results produced rather than the amount of time devoted. You have to think of work in terms of its impact and find a way to assess each employee’s work beyond just confirming that they are on the premises.
There’s a lot of evidence showing that flexible working arrangements improve worker productivity and boost employee retention and morale. The following are some of the benefits of flexible working that you can discuss with management in order to convince them to take steps toward creating a more flexible workplace.
Studies have found that some employees are willing to give up a percentage of their salary to have work flexibility. According to a survey commissioned by the flexible staffing firm Mom Corps, 42% of working adults are willing to give up some percentage of their salary in exchange for more flexibility at work.
Telecommuting can also decrease operating and real estate costs for companies. According to Global Workplace Analytics, an employee working at home for just half of the work week can save his or her employer approximately $11,000 per year.
Expanded Talent Pool
Companies that don’t offer flexible work options risk losing their top talent to organizations that provide a more flexible work environment. Conversely, companies that offer flexible working arrangements have access to a wider and more diversified talent pool. Not only are they able to hire people from across the country or even the world, they are able to hire talented workers who can’t work onsite, such as stay-at-home parents and people with disabilities. Companies that hire telecommuters also tend to grow at a faster rate than companies that only have in-office employees, partly because they are able to hire salespeople in different geographic locations.
Boost Employee Productivity and Satisfaction
Satisfied employees are less likely to leave a company. This reduces the need for employers to fill vacant positions and also prevents brain drain. Telecommuters are also more productive than their in-office counterparts because they spend more time working and less time commuting. They also take fewer breaks and fewer sick days. Workers who know that their jobs are flexible enough to accommodate their personal lives tend to be less stressed out and therefore produce better work.
When approaching management about the possibility of allowing flexible work, be specific about how it would benefit the company, not how it would benefit yourself. If your managers are hesitant, suggest a trial run at first, so you can prove that it’s possible and ease their fears.
For most organizations, the biggest concerns regarding flexible working are that it would hurt communication, collaboration, and productivity. Technology has made it possible to collaborate effectively with your co-workers while working remotely. For example, you can use team calendar software like Add-On Products’ WebTeam Central to share your schedule and view your team members’ schedules with ease. Having access to a resource booking solution like Resource Central is also valuable, so you can book conference calls and meetings with co-workers and clients across multiple locations and time zones. Sign up for a free trial or free online demo to learn more about how Add-On Products’ solutions can help you create a more flexible workplace.