Flexible work arrangements are becoming more and more popular, but are they right for your company? These arrangements may include allowing employees to work from home, allowing employees to work longer hours but fewer days each week, or allowing employees to work odd hours. A 2013 survey conducted by The Society for Human Resource Management found that 57% of companies allow some type of flexible work arrangement, which is up 4% from 2012. Small businesses were well represented in the survey as a third of the respondents were from companies with less than 100 employees. A wide range of industries were also represented including professional services, healthcare, manufacturing and retail.
There are advantages and disadvantages to flexible scheduling. Allowing employees to work from home can save on overhead costs, but employees may be less equipped to work from home than they would be from the office. Or, your company culture may be built on employees collaborating face-to-face so allowing employees to telecommute would not be a good option. It may also be difficult for managers to create schedules that both accommodate employees’ preferences and benefit the business.
But, there are also several advantages. Flexible scheduling is seen as a benefit so it helps retain good employees and can also be used as a recruiting tool. Offering this benefit has shown to boost employee morale and some studies have found that employees are actually more productive, since they are focused on accomplishing their tasks while in the office and not just watching the clock. Employees with flexible schedules feel that they have more control over their time and therefore are less likely to experience burnout, even though they may end up working more hours than employees on traditional schedules.