Flexible work schedules have been a key topic of discussion in recent years. While the idea may seem simple on its face, there’s a lot to consider. So you may be wondering: what are some of the flexible work schedule pros and cons?
While some business owners (and politicians) are still against the concept of flexible or remote working, there’s now plenty of evidence to prove that employees can be just as productive—if not more so—when businesses embrace flexible work schedules.
Not only that, but it comes with increased benefits for employee wellbeing. For 73% of employees, flexible work schedules increase job satisfaction, and 78% feel it makes them more productive.
Unsurprisingly then, when employees have the opportunity to work flexibly, 87% take it.
Offering flexible working hours is important for talent attraction, too. 77% of job hunters now say it’s a major consideration when they’re looking at potential opportunities. So, if you’re not already offering it, you could be unintentionally shrinking your talent pool.
That being said, and like anything else, there are still flexible work schedule pros and cons. Let’s explore what they are:
You can create a truly diverse, inclusive workplace
Some people are great at what they do, but just not suited to working 9-5. This could be because of family commitments, health issues, or personal preferences.
Offering flexible work arrangements makes you a more attractive employer to this often-neglected group of candidates.
As a result, your workplace can become more diverse and inclusive for everyone.
Because people feel included, your employee retention and productivity are likely to increase. In turn, this will also boost your bottom line and grow your employer brand.
Employees feel valued
When you cater work hours to employees’ needs, they feel respected and appreciated. It also increases their sense of inclusion and belonging.
As a result, they’re happier and more likely to stay long term. Because of all of this, they’ll be more productive and help create a positive company culture.
Employees (and their families) are happier
A flexible work model allows employees with families to adapt their workweek to fit their family’s needs.
This extra time with loved ones provides them with a better work/life balance. Which in turn improves their overall wellness and your retention rates.
Employees take fewer sick days
When my chronic pain is bad, I’m sometimes unable to work in the morning because moving is too painful. By the afternoon, I’m well enough to tackle some content writing.
If I worked 9-5, I wouldn’t be able to pick up work later. I’d be out for the whole day. Flexible work schedules accommodate chronic pain flare-ups and the nuances that come with them.
Mornings are often worse for any illness, whether that’s a cold, allergy, or pain flare up. If an employee can spend the morning resting, they may be able to do some tasks later depending on how they feel.
Flexible work schedules are also beneficial for employees recovering from, or managing, long-term or chronic health conditions. They can ease themselves back in without being tied to one way of working.
As a result, you lose less money and work hours to employees taking time off sick.
Employees work for longer
Flexible work schedule pros and cons can also include aspects of remote work. In situations where employees aren’t losing two hours each day to their daily commutes, they’ll work for longer. As a result, they’ll finish projects faster.
They may also have more energy because they don’t have to get up so early to arrive at the office on time.
Employees can work when they’re most productive
Some people just aren’t morning people, and they shouldn’t be obligated to work 9-5 just because. Likewise, some people are far more productive as the sun rises than when it’s setting.
If you’re not getting the best out of someone, but they’re great at the role, doesn’t it make more sense for them to work the hours when they’re the most productive?
Flexible working can be difficult to manage
Flexible schedules can be more challenging to manage than when every employee works the same hours.
The right tools can go a long way towards mitigating this impact.
For example, you could send out employee surveys to see how people feel about their ability to collaborate. Or get their suggestions for improving internal communications.
It’s harder for employees to build connections
Different work schedules can mean employees miss out on opportunities to chat in the kitchen or socialize with colleagues after work.
ERGs are a fantastic way for them to still connect, even if they work different hours or they’re not in an office.
You can also create groups for a variety of shared interests, or for different locations. That way, employees can bond with colleagues nearby and maybe even meet up in person.
There’s a lack of structure
A flexible work schedule can mean there’s less structure in employees’ days, and when it comes to how their team operates.
If you don’t come up with workarounds for this, such as having a set time for regular catch-up meetings, it can lead to communication issues and stressed-out employees who don’t feel supported.
One solution for this could be to have core hours. That’s where employees have set hours when they need to be online or in the office. That way there’s always time when they can talk to their colleagues without disturbing them outside of work hours.
Arranging meetings is more challenging
When employees are in the office during different hours, or working in different time zones, getting everyone together for a meeting can be a nightmare. The more people who need to be there, the worse it gets.
However, there are now several programs you can use that do the heavy lifting for you. These apps sync with employees’ calendars, then suggest times when everyone is available to meet up. No more headaches necessary.
Employees want flexibility, but it’s important to consider all the flexible work schedule pros and cons before designing your approach.
Some people will appreciate the structure of working 9 to 5, and nothing outside of those hours. At the same time, others need more flexibility and will appreciate you accommodating that.
A more flexible work schedule can help you attract more diverse candidates when you hire. So if that’s one of your business goals, creating or updating your flexible working policy is well worth considering.
If you want some help balancing flexible work schedule pros and cons, Workrowd has your back. By keeping your employees connected and in the loop with our all-in-one tool suite, it’s easier to reduce negative impacts, and amplify the benefits.
Check out our user-friendly platform to manage and measure ERGs and interest groups, streamline employee communications, and more. When you’re ready to chat, just visit us online and click the ‘Request a Demo’ button, or send us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org.