The Benefits of Flexible Work Arrangements
The traditional 5-days-a-week, 8-hours-a-day working schedule has long been regarded as the ideal approach to efficiency and consistency. But with the rise of technology, flexibility in the workplace is becoming more common. Thanks to new tools and software, work can be completed without coming into the office and employees are staying connected without having to meet face-to-face. With this newfound flexibility, workplaces are re-evaluating their schedules and beginning to offer alternatives to the traditional work schedule. Whether that involves shorter days, flexible hours, or flexible days is all up to the employer.
According to a recent survey conducted by the Conference Board of Canada, more than 85% of Canadian organizations offer flexible working arrangements for their employees. The most common variation by far is flexible hours – with 93% of the organizations surveyed offering this option to employees. Part-time remote work and occasional remote days follow at 55% and 52%. Tied for the last spot are compressed work weeks and working remotely on a full-time basis, both at 45%. Long story short, Canadian workplaces are offering flexibility for their employees, and those who do not, may fall behind in the job market.
What value do these offerings bring to you as an employer?
- Flexible work arrangements make your organization more competitive in the job market, which, in turn, makes it easier to retain valuable employees. With more companies embracing flexible schedules, and the demand from employees to have more accommodating options rising, having at least some form of flexible arrangement is a must to reduce employee turnover.
- Allowing employees to arrange their work around their preferences boosts their morale and overall productivity at work. People know when and where they work best and providing this freedom to choose increases productivity.
- These arrangements enhance the company’s image as an accommodating and family-friendly workplace.
Some concerns that arise when employers consider implementing flexible work arrangement include:
- The possibility that employees will take advantage of their newfound freedom and will not perform tasks as efficiently as they might have otherwise.
- The concern that employees may not perform well if not under direct supervision.
- The potential for people to feel disconnected.
To address these concerns, it is important that proper tools are put in place and management is well equipped to manage these news ways of working. It is also recommended that weekly check-ins and/or regular one-on-one meetings are scheduled to maintain a connection between team members.
Time and time again, productivity and morale are shown to increase upon implementing flexible work arrangements. Working together with employees, flexible work arrangements are well within grasp. Times are changing and the market is more competitive than ever. Technology is facilitating new ways of working so there has never been a better time to explore providing flexible work arrangements within your organization.