Many companies are giving their employees the power to work from home and set their own hours. This type of flexible scheduling is often beneficial for both businesses and employees, but also requires a lot to execute. Before you take the plunge, you may want to learn more about why flexible scheduling can increase your bottom line — and what challenges you may face.
The Core Benefits of a Flexible Employee Work Schedule
In order to understand how flexible hours increase your bottom line, you need to first understand the varying benefits that it produces for your employees. Employers today know that happier employees are more effective employees. Modern lifestyles have changed and people today crave work/life balance. Flexible work schedule can also keep your employees inspired and more productive. Here are some of the major selling points for your employees and how they impact your organization:
Employees are able to schedule their work when they are most productive.
Employees generally want to be productive and to get their work done, but there are simply times when they cannot focus on work. Whether they’re dealing with personal issues or just having an off day, an employee may want to use their discretion to get their work done when they are at their most productive. This benefits both the company and the employee by providing a better environment and better business outcomes.
Employees are not as distracted at work regarding personal problems.
Employees worry about their relationships, their family, their health, and their financial situation — and they can’t turn it off when they get to work. These worries can distract them and lower their performance. By offering a flexible schedule, employers give their employees a chance to address these problems before they become more significant issues. This is especially true with family problems.
Employees are healthier, happier, and more likely to stay at their job.
Employee retention is an incredibly important factor when it comes to a company’s bottom line. The turn over cost of an employee can range from $5,000 to over $7,000 for many large organizations, due to the cost of hiring and training. Employees are more likely to be retained when their schedules are flexible and easy.
Employees are more likely to choose a position with flexible hours.
Employees today are looking for benefits that go beyond salaries — and some organizations are finding that they simply cannot compete with top salaries. Flexible hours are one of the most prized benefits for a modern employee and allows an organization to remain competitive without having to invest cash. The better the talent, the better the overall performance for the organization.
Every business is unique. There have not been any large scale studies regarding how flexible hours increase a company’s bottom line, but anecdotal evidence shows many companies reporting very significant gains. Fortune reports a case in which revenue tripled over the course of six or seven years and Cisco, one of the most substantial leaders in the tech industry, claims to save nearly $277 million annually through its flexible telecommuting program.
The Challenges of Dealing With Flexible Employee Work Schedules
All of this is not to say that flexible employee work schedules are the answer for every company. There are some challenges involved. When employees are given too much freedom, motivating them can be a challenge. In 2013, companies such as Yahoo and Best Buy both reconsidered their work-from-home programs because they found that the programs were too flexible.
Flexible scheduling also only works if all employees are on board. When some employees are flexible and others are not, it breeds resentment and creates confusion. Employees may find themselves spending the majority of their day simply trying to track other employees down and fulfill their tasks.
Ultimately, flexible scheduling can only work if employees themselves are motivated and if there is a way in place to track productivity. And unless employee scheduling software is available, it can also cause undue stress for management.
Are flexible work schedules right for your business? It really depends on your company’s situation. Smaller companies tend to need their employees on staff during specific hours. A flexible employee schedule could also add to confusion for companies that haven’t fine-tuned their communication. On the other hand, for larger companies, the benefits are all there: recruiting and retaining top talent, getting the most out of your employees, and, hopefully, improving your bottom line.