Introducing flexibility to the workplace includes various factors. These range from location and shift hours to workload distribution and office layout. Working these factors into an effective arrangement can make a massive difference in productivity.
Managers can use the fact that flexible work arrangements can make it easier to hire and keep employees to their advantage. Using desk booking software, collaboration apps, and time trackers can help make the transition easier.
What is a Flexible Work Schedule?
A flexible work schedule is an alternative to the standard 9–5 Monday–Friday workweek. Flexible schedules allow employees to vary when they clock in and out of work.
Generally, this type of scheduling encourages employees to work when they feel most productive. While remote and hybrid arrangements are flexible schedules, other arrangements can provide more versatile work hours.
There are many benefits to flexible work scheduling, such as:
- Access to Larger Talent Pools – Flexibility today is not just expected but considered the norm. It allows organizations to hire diverse employees, improving cooperation and providing more opportunities.
- Employee Retention – Reduced micromanagement and increased transparency with work hours lead to higher employee retention rates. Employee monitoring tools are especially crucial in keeping track of attendance.
- Improved Work-Life Balance – Flexible work schedules favor employees, especially working parents. These schedules give them more time for childcare, part-time studies, or even creative pursuits.
5 Types of Flexible Work Schedules to Keep the Modern Workforce Happy
As more and more workers seek flexible work arrangements, companies must transition to accommodate their needs.
Today, it’s easier than ever to coordinate and collaborate, even across different time zones. With the help of tools like web-based collaboration apps or a conference room booking app, work can be more flexible.
Here are a few types of flexible arrangements worth considering:
1. Flexible Time
Also known as “flexitime,” flextime refers to working arrangements where employees can choose their hours. For example, instead of the standard 9-to-5, employees can clock in at 11 am and out at 7 pm, respectively.
This working arrangement allows employees to maximize their productive hours. Some members perform better in the morning, while others are more productive at night.
2. Remote Working
Remote work is similar to telecommuting, but both have their differences. With remote work, jobs are performed away from the office. It’s an arrangement that depends the most on effective communication and collaboration tools like desk booking software.
Also, remote workers aren’t always required to attend in-office team-building events or meetings. Companies employing remote workers will often even have staff based in different countries.
3. Compressed Workweeks
Compressed workweeks are another way of reducing the number of working days. Employees choose to work at any time if they meet their required hours for the week or the month.
One example may include four ten-hour days a week or a two-week quota compressed into nine days.
Compressed workweeks are great for employees whose work requirements are more project-based. The result allows them more free time, saves on commuting costs, and more flexible work scheduling.
4. Alternative Scheduling
Employers can also find more ways to accommodate employees who can’t work a standard Monday-to-Friday schedule. Alternative workweeks are a great solution that allows employees to take up weekend, night, or graveyard shifts.
This flexibility is ideal for employees who are also parents or work second jobs. Regular daytime hours can then be devoted to other elective tasks.
5. Job Sharing
Many employers are seeking job sharing to make work more flexible for employees. Arrangements can vary and can include employees alternating hours or workdays to cover the same job.
While coordination can be a downside in job sharing, there are ways to mitigate it. For example, tools like a desk or room management software can improve courage communication between employees.
How Do You Design a Flexible Work Schedule?
9-to-5 jobs have lasted long because they provide a standard, albeit inflexible, time that employees can follow.
However, technological advances make it easier to work different hours, from home, or even from another country. Coordination is much easier, and employees can collaborate on projects without meeting in person.
There are many ways to optimize flexible work arrangements, especially for non-traditional workers. Here’s how managers can make flexible work scheduling easier for themselves and their employees:
Tip 1: Know Your Employees
Managers and business owners are responsible for getting to know their employees. Their backgrounds and schedules must be considered to ensure everyone is on the same page when collaborating.
Strategies like prioritizing face time and asking questions are great for allowing managers to delegate tasks more efficiently. It also prevents micromanagement, which in turn improves morale.
Tip 2: Utilize Technology
Technology holds flexible work arrangements together, and companies always look for ways to speed up work.
Technological environments like hospitals are primarily reliant on tools like operating room scheduling software to coordinate surgery schedules and appointments. They minimize incidents like double-booking and make rescheduling much easier.
Tip 3: Create a Common Workflow
Establishing core hours is a great way to ensure collaboration regardless of employees’ schedules. These hours are when everyone is expected to be available throughout the week.
Core hours also give employees a “schedule” to work around and manage more effectively. Managers can conduct meetings, delegate tasks during these core hours, or engage in short team-building exercises.
The Bottom Line
9-to-5 jobs have lasted because they provide a standard, albeit inflexible, time that employees can follow. However, with technological advances, attitudes towards work are changing.
With the help of a few essential tools, work set-ups can become more flexible, especially for non-traditional employees. Work arrangements are much more relaxed, and employees expect this flexibility in the office. Additionally, coordination is now much more manageable.