Flexible Work Arrangements: A Growing Trend in the Workplace
Once upon a time working a full-time job meant being at your desk from 9 to 5, and taking exactly a one-hour lunch break.
But as society moves towards achieving work-life balance, there is something to be said about the benefits of flexible work arrangements. And according to statistics, 73% of Australian employees value this when seeking a career.
Technological advancements, an ageing population and changing attitudes to gender roles are just a few of the reasons why employees are seeking, and getting, more choice in how they do their job.
What are flexible work arrangements?
A flexible work arrangement encompasses two things: working in an environment other than the office, and/or the ability to work hours that differ from the company’s normal start and stop times.
This is a job perk that is typically practised across permanent positions.
Flexible work schedules can be implemented intermittently or regularly. They may be used to enable employees to rearrange working hours to accommodate work-life balance, such as accommodating appointments, childcare, or work commutes.
What are the benefits to an employer?
The benefits are multifold; not only does a flexible work schedule benefit the employee but also the employer – maybe even more than you’d realise.
Offering your staff more flexibility will benefit you by:
This trust is being built on both sides: for the employer and the employee.
As the employer, you are trusting that your employee will complete their job and stay on track despite being away from the office or working without constant supervision.
And as a result, employees take ownership of their work and feel the need to prove they can still be productive. They also trust that their employer does care about them by allowing them perks that will help improve their work-life balance.
Increasing Employee Productivity
If an employee has the flexibility to work from home, they are saving time on their commute and are getting to spend time in what is probably a more comfortable workspace. This means they are more likely to start earlier and finish later.
Additionally, many employees work harder than usual to show their appreciation for this job perk.
Life happens and sometimes employees need to take care of things during work hours. Normally, they are not able to handle these tasks if they are required to be in the office the entire day, resulting in sick time or late arrivals.
However, if employees with a flexible schedule are able to work from home with a sick child, or if they are able to run extra-long appointments over lunch, employers don’t have to worry about excess sick time or time clock violations.
Employees can utilise their flexible schedule to move their hours around to accommodate these life happenings, and everyone on either side of the equation remains happy.
Increasing Staff Retention
Employees often view flexible work schedules as evidence that they are valued by their company and employer. They are going to be happier and more committed when they feel they are able to have a good work-life balance. A flexible work schedule can help promote that and keep employees from pursuing employment elsewhere.
What are some flexibility options for a business?
Some common flexible workplace flexible arrangements can include;
- Altering an employee’s start and finish times to accommodate commitments outside work. For instance, staggered start and finish times i.e. starting earlier to finish earlier, a mix of long and short days.
- The option to work remotely if the nature of the job allows it. During the 2020 pandemic, many organisations have found this works rather well and overall can enable employees to work their schedule around family commitments.
- Employees compressing their work weeks on either a part time arrangement such as 4 day weeks or arrangements such as 9 day fortnights.
The nature of work is changing, along with advancements in technology, and businesses can make the most of that by providing flexibility. Offering greater flexibility makes a company more appealing to highly skilled workers looking for more options
As an employer, you should always be looking for ways to better take care of your employees. They are who takes care of your stakeholders, which ultimately benefits your business profitability.
Are you considering implementing flexible work arrangements?