Flexible working arrangements are enticing work perks, but it’s more than just a workplace trend — it’s a benefit that’s here to stay.
When a company’s priority is more on results than clocking time, when or where the work happens isn’t of major concern. Productivity can improve when employees are given the option to choose their work hours and work environment, picking what is conducive to them completing their work most efficiently.
According to a number of studies, work flexibility improves work productivity. A survey conducted by the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans in the United States, 94% of U.S. employers provide some form of flexible working provision, including flexible starting and finishing times (87%) and telecommuting (74%). A 2013 Bank of Montreal poll surveyed Canadian businesses and found that “65% of companies that offered telecommuting to their employees reported increased productivity”.
Experimenting with non-traditional work scheduling and work locations beyond the standard work structures is a healthy risk for companies to take. Redefining the boundaries of time and space by offering flexible work options, including flextime and telecommuting, has many benefits upon heightening and optimizing your staff’s productivity.
Flextime is a work schedule arrangement that allows employees to alter the standard Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm office hours by customizing the start and end time of their days during the work week. Instead of remaining fixed, office hours can be flexed and adapted according to the worker’s optimal performance hours. This can mean early risers coming into work a couple hours earlier in order to finish earlier, whereas people most productive in the afternoon and evenings can start late and finish late.
In an article on Forbes, top CEOs cited remote work as the company benefit that has the most impact on company culture. With the internet, computers, and mobile devices, it’s no longer necessary for employees to be in the same room to stay connected and accomplish their tasks. Through a telecommuting program, employees can work in the office part-time and at home part-time. This mobility concept of working remotely and working from home allows for maximized productivity to get the job done, as it allows employees to balance between the collaborative dynamics of the office environment and the quiet comfort found in their home.
The benefits of flextime & telecommuting
The beneficial outcomes of offering flextime and telecommuting as flexible work options include:
- Better time management and enhanced efficiency. By taking into account your people’s individual work styles and preferences and giving them the autonomy to flex their schedules around their most productive working hours, you will empower them to do their best quality work.
- Making your people work not just harder, but smarter. Working remotely removes the disruptions and distractions of a busy, buzzing office by cutting time spent in long meetings, conversations about non-relevant tangents, and other forms of interruption. People can be fully present on the job and stay concentrated on the task at hand.
- Improvement to your employees’ overall health and wellness. By alleviating the pressure of dealing with physical and mental health concerns while feeling obliged to come into the office, you are helping your people recover quicker, lower their stress levels, prevent burnouts, and reduce absenteeism.
- Saving your people’s time and energy through reduced commutes. By giving your employees the option to use flextime or telecommute, you are freeing up their commute time spent stuck in endless rush hour traffic jams and long public transit journeys that could instead be spent on task completion and project work (and not to mention freeing your people from the constant worry of how they’ll get everywhere on time).
- Allowing your people to achieve the coveted work/life balance. With flextime and remote work opportunities, your workforce is better equipped to balance the responsibilities and demands of their professional life and their personal life. By helping them have more time to spend with family, friends, and their hobbies and interests outside of their careers, you will see more satisfied, dedicated and productive employees at work.
Over to you
As you no doubt want your employees to feel supported, you want to ensure this policy goes off to a strong start. In order to implement flexibility into your employees’ work schedules without disrupting your entire workforce, cover all your bases by resolving any potential anxieties, such as establishing communication and accountability protocols for your flextime and telecommuting friendly employees, further detailed in our article on 5 Tips to Introduce Telecommuting at Your Company.
When employees are enabled to make choices about how, where, and when they work, they are more productive and engaged in their work lives, and in turn, this reflects positively on your company.