Flexible Hours: The New Must Have!

Millennials are now making up most of today’s workforce and are projected to reach up to 46% of it by 2020. It is crucial for companies and organizations to understand what motivates them as employees in order to retain workers. Millennials seem to think of the traditional Mon.-Fri. 9a-5p schedule as a thing of the past. Furthermore, having a flexible work schedule is no longer just a trend, but a new fundamental factor in retaining top talent and attracting new employees. Compared to five years ago, 40% more companies in the US offer a flexible work option. It is widely documented that a happier work place results in higher productivity among staff. Shifting a healthy focus onto employee wellbeing and allowing companies to incorporate options for flexible hours and telecommuting days just might be the missing link to higher productivity and an overall positive company culture. How can you stay with the latest workforce trends and develop and implement a flex work option at your company?

Read more for benefits of flexible work schedules and how you can implement them at your company:

Benefits of a flex work schedule.

A happy employee is 20% more likely to be productive and engaged. A positive work-life balance plays a huge role in productivity, engagement, and contributing to the overall success of your company. You can notice significant advantages of implementing a flexible work schedule. These policies vary company to company but typically include flexible start times for the 8 hour workday, or the option to work from home 1-3 days a week.  Advantages can include decreased operating costs, lower employee turnover rates, and increased hiring flexibility. A firm in New Zealand ran an experiment by reducing their hours down to 32 a week instead of the normal 40; either working 6.5 hours a day 5 days a week, or working 8 hours a day for 4 days a week. Employees in the experiment reported a 24% improvement in work-life balance and it was documented that employees were more creative, had better attendance, and took fewer breaks. After experiencing a flex work schedule, employees began to realize how to actually work smarter, not harder. To read more about the advantages of a flex work schedule, for employees and your company, click here.

How to implement a flex work schedule.

In order to successfully reap as many possible benefits of flex work schedules, be sure that you have a solid foundation of programs and policies in place to avoid common mishaps and failed flex work schedules. Here are a few steps to assist your HR department in developing a flex workplace culture.

    • Plan it out and train managers. Understanding your company’s process by each department and what drives its success will help you create a plan that best matches your company’s current culture so you can begin training managers accordingly. Managing flex employees differs from managing a team of employees that are in the office at the same time every day. Your team leaders and managers should be properly trained and prepared for managing flex employees.
    • Communication is vital. It is vital for your company to have a strong foundation of communication among staff and management as it will play a major role in the success of implementing your new flex work schedule. With modern technology and team collaboration programs, staying connected with employees should be seamless. Plan and regulate regular weekly, biweekly, or monthly check-ins to ensure everyone is on the same page.
    • Keep the standard work schedule option. While flex work schedules are becoming the norm, understand that it’s not for everyone. Some employees find they work best with a set schedule in an office environment, whereas working from home may be too distracting or working outside of typical 9a-5p business hours may not be feasible for each employee. Depending on your company culture and flex work plan, allow for a standard work schedule option.
    • Begin with a pilot program and collect data. Before introducing your formal flex work schedule across your company, consider implementing a pilot program within a few specified departments. This will allow you to collect data and work out any issues that may arise. You can then make adjustments and fine-tune your policy before you introduce it to your entire organization. A successful pilot program may persuade skeptics to embrace this change.

Flexible work schedules have become more than a fleeting trend, they are what a lot of employees are looking for as part of your benefits package. It’s time to adapt to the changes. Practice with a pilot run of flex hours to head off any mishaps or negative outcomes. Being prepared by thoroughly planning out the development and implementation of a flex work schedule with your HR department will allow for a smoother transition. Reap the benefits of the positive changes, increased productivity and overall increase in goals by implementing this new must have benefit!