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Flexible schedule; pros and cons of labor flexibility

Have you ever thought that a more flexible schedule could be more appreciated by your employees than a pay raise?

In times when trade margins narrow, you may have trouble raising your workers’ wages. However, you must remember that there are other incentives that they could value even more than a raise in their remuneration, and that – well used – could even increase productivity.

From flexible schedules to telework, they are all measures ultimately intended to increase the employee’s freedom, and achieve such beneficial effects as better balance between work and personal and family life, which will lead to greater satisfaction and better performance.

But since there are few things in life that only offer benefits, it can also have its drawbacks. Today we are going to see both the advantages and the disadvantages of having a flexible schedule.

Some advantages of flexible schedules are:

– Better balance between work life and family/personal life.

This is undoubtedly the most visible advantage we can find, and the main reason why many people would want more flexibility in their schedules. Life is not a grid and thus, people don’t move under the methodical rhythm of a clock -neither should they-. Some important people in our day to day life, like our family, also have their own lives that won’t always be compatible with strict schedules. A child isn’t going to stop catching the flu just because you have to go to work.

There are many reasons why we might want more a flexible schedule, and even the possibility of opting – permanently or punctually – for telework, but certainly being able to be with our family, our friends, or just our hobbies, is one of the best reasons anyone could imagine.

– Lower stress level

Having to comply with a strict schedule – often without a real need to justify it – imposes unnecessary pressure on the worker. Keep in mind that on many occasions, your employees will have to deal with external elements (traffic, for example) in order to be able to arrive on time at their job, and this can generate tensions that are a bad way to start or finish a workday. Having more freedom with the times to enter and exit will reduce anxiety, and will make your team quieter and more productive.

– Higher appreciation towards the company

Usually, people are more grateful than they seem. Making a flexible schedule available for them will improve the workers’ consideration of the company. This will increase their performance, their desire to stay with you and thus, reduce rotation. Less rotation will favor productivity (think of all the time and money lost by searching, selecting and training new workers). Help them become happier, and they will help you make your business better.

– Higher productivity

In addition to being happier and more relaxed – which helps improving work performance – your workers can choose the times of the day in which they have the most energy to devote to work. There are people who work full throttle in the morning. Others do it in the afternoon, or even in the evening. Why force them to work when they are less effective?

In addition, there will be days when your people will feel full of energy and inspiration; allow them to extend their working day if they feel they don’t want to stop, and that will allow them to reduce it another day. On other occasions, however, they won’t feel well, so it doesn’t make sense that they stay in their place, just occupying space, without the strength to do anything. Some days will compensate others, and like this, it’s a win-win for everybody.

– It attracts talent

A flexible schedule and the possibility of teleworking are appealing for many employees. If you offer these options, it will be easier for you to have more candidates willing to work with you. You could even have very qualified people residing in cities or even countries far from your workplace, and that otherwise would never work with you. In some cases, the flexible schedule itself can even generate a positive image of your company among potential candidates who know that you offer such facilities.

– Less work absenteeism and delays

Many studies show that absenteeism at work can cause major losses to companies. If you provide a more flexible schedule it will be more difficult for your people to get hooked to the bad habit of not going to work. In addition, when faced with a rigid schedule. it can be very tempting to incur in small delays that, accumulated, mean lost hours of work.

But also, here are some disadvantages of flexible schedules.

– They cannot always be offered.

Not all companies are likely to set up flexible schedules. Sometimes the workday will depend on external elements – customers, for example – and having flexible hours will be impracticable. Some other times, the very nature of the business will make flexible schedules or telework impossible.

– There is no direct control over the work done.

Especially when opting for telework, the supervision of the performed tasks will be more difficult. In this case, it will be important to properly set the objectives to be achieved and the deadlines to do so, so that the autonomy of the worker doesn’t end up decreasing their performance.

– Teamwork and integration into the company may suffer.

Very different schedules or not sharing time in the work center can cause a disconnection of the worker. This disconnection can appear in two senses: both in their identification with the company and its objectives, and in communication with other colleagues, which can cause teamwork resentment.

Now you know some benefits and disadvantages of flexible schedules. Do you want to know even more? Do you want to know about a remote team management system called eHorus? eHorus is looking forward to meeting you! Come in here and take a look.

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