Benefits of a Flexible Work Schedule

3420 words (14 pages) Essay in Employment

23/09/19 Employment Reference this

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Benefits of a Flexible Work Schedule

Contents

Executive Summary

Introduction

Background

Problem and Purpose

Findings

Why Flexible Work Schedule is Necessary?

Work-Family Balance

Continuing Education

A Trend for Disappearing Corporate Office

Great Sense of Being Valued

What are The Benefits for Employees and Employers?

Employees

Employers

Type of Flexible Work Arrangement

How to Get Started for Employer?

Conclusion

Recommendation

Works Cited

Bibliography

Executive Summary

The report goes through the important of having a flexible schedule in work place. Employees will have the opportunity to balance working hours and family time as well as continue education and personal development. Flexi schedule is also a current and future trend when corporate office might be no longer a must. In addition, the sense of being valued by employer will motivate employees to dedicate more to the company.

Flexible work schedule brings benefits for both employers and employees. Employees can reduce unproductive commuting time, reduce fuel costs, and increase productivity. On the other hand, employers are able to retain outstanding staffs as well as recruit talents easily. Employers would appreciate high productivity by reducing tardiness and absenteeism as a result of offering flexible work hour. However, flexible work arrangement also has some disadvantages that both employers and employees need to consider.  Having different working hours with co-workers might cause some difficulties in finishing the job and employees might sometimes feel that working hours have been extended more than normal hours. Meanwhile, employers will not feel that working hours can be controlled while employees are not physically in the office, and fairness will also be concerned when some employees have to stay in office as required by the job.

Flexible work schedule can be arranged in different format including flexibility in time, location, and work continuity. In order to convince employer agreeing on a flexible schedule, employees should perform well and be ready to tackle all the obstacles that might occur by having a flexible work schedule.

 

Flexible Work Schedule

Introduction

Background

This report is designed as an assignment in Research and Report Writing Class. General topics are provided by instructor and students can choose one topic from the list or suggest another topic. It will discuss about Flexible Work Schedule which is one of the topics given and approved by instructor.

Problem and Purpose

Many employees experience a personal, professional, and monetary need to achieve especially workers with kids and family at home. Most employees need to have a balance between work and personal life, and the term work-life balance refers to this situation. Employers can assist employees to experience work-life balance by offering such opportunities as flexible work schedule, paid time off policies, responsible time and communication expectations, and company-sponsored family events and activities. This approach will create a work environment in which work-life balance is expected, enabled, and supported in order to retain outstanding employees to whom work-life balance is important and allow them to pursue all components of a healthy life.

This report presents information regarding current trend in work place which is flexible work schedule where employees are not required to come to office in a daily basic while they can still perform their job well. It will also discuss why it is a trend, what are the values and drawbacks for both employees and employers. The report also suggests how an employee can start discussing a flexible schedule with an employer, and on the other side what should employer do to manage employees under this flexibility. This research will only cover flexible work schedule as a part of work-life balance approach due to limit time. It is significance because flexible work schedule gives employees the motivation to work and dedicate to employers. It will also represent different views from employee and employer.

Findings

The result of this research indicates that flexible work schedule is necessary to motivate employees to perform well, enhance productivity, and connect employees to employer emotionally. The research findings present four aspects (a) why flexible work schedule is necessary, (b) what are the benefits and drawbacks, (c) type of flexible work schedule arrangements, and (d) how to get started for employer.

One online survey conducted by The Honourable MaryAnn Mihychuk, Minister of Employment, asking Canadians for providing their views and experiences related to flexible work. The survey showed that 827 among 990 respondents answered that their companies provide flexible work arrangement and 163 among 990 respondents answered that no flexible schedule is provided at work (Employment and Social Development Canada, 2017). It is no doubt that flexible work schedule has been a trend in work place. Figure 1 below gives more details on the questions had been asked and the respective responses.

Figure 1

(Source: Employment and Social Development Canada, 2017)

Note that the total of percentages for all four answers does not equal 100% since participants could select more than one answer.

Why Flexible Work Schedule is Necessary?

Work-Family Balance

Work-life balance is very important to employees since some have many family obligations while juggling with work, some have other passions to pursue, others simply are not interested in committing to one particular job or profession in a full-time capacity. The 2016 Deloitte Millennial Survey stated that 16.8 percent of millennials choose their job based on opportunities it presents them for achieving work-life balance and 11 percent of millennials look for flexibility as top priority when it comes to choosing a company to work (Galic, 2018).

Employees will have a desire to balance work commitments with raising children as the more children are closely connected to parents, the more likely that children will be personally involved in caring for parents when parents age. The trade off, of course, is catching up on email at 10 P.M. or finishing a project on a Sunday morning to make up the time.

Continuing Education

Another thing that employees normally look for when choosing where to work is having the ability to grow and learn more while on the job as well as get the opportunity to get higher education. Company that offers employee development opportunities always do well when it comes to hiring and retaining younger workers. In many cases, employees will be spending time taking classes and working additional jobs to skill up, and some of this activity will occur during the normal workday. Flexible scheduling enables workers to work around current and future educational goals, maintain a job, and continue learning at the same time. Apparently, this is a big win for employers as well, who will be able to retain employees who are determined to learn and improve while on the job (Galic, 2018).

A Trend for Disappearing Corporate Office

The growth in use of electric computer and voice tools have made work more portable, facilitating employees’ ability to work anywhere, anytime. More employers have become comfortable with flexibility as technological tools enhance the ability to electronically monitor employees’ productivity.

By 2030, professionals will work mostly from home using super-fast data terminals. Meeting will routinely occur virtually and across geographies and time zone, rendering air travel to visit clients or partners unnecessary. And if the office is not necessary, why office hours need to be set (Levit, 2015).

Great Sense of Being Valued

Letting employees know that staffs are appreciated is very important since that would be one of the main reasons for staying with a company. Being valued is important to people not only in the work place. It is important in family situations, in social situations, and in any type of human relationship. Levit (2015) found that “employees who are offered the ability to work with flexibility tend to feel more valued by employers, in turn those employees will be more loyal and work harder.”

What are The Benefits for Employees and Employers?

Prior to making a decision, all people involved will consider benefits and drawbacks to see it is worth to make a change. The advantages that employees see while being permitted to work more flexible schedules are fairly clear and obvious; however, it’s important to know that granting flexible schedules doesn’t make sense if the needs of business are not met.

Employees

Advantages

According to Heathfield, 2018 with flexible work schedule, employees experience these benefits:

  • Flexibility to meet family needs, personal target, and life responsibility.
  • Reduce unproductive time spent on commuting and fuel costs.
  • Avoid traffic and stresses of commuting during rush hours.
  • Increase feeling of personal control over schedule and work environment.
  • Reduce employee burnout due to overload.
  • Increase productivity.
  • Decrease childcare cost.
Disadvantages

Employees who thrive in an office environment may find it difficult to work when colleagues do not hold the same schedule. This is why many employers require core days and core hours during which everyone is in the office. Moreover, working from home can often make neighbours and friends think employees are not actually working, thus causing problems with relationships. Lastly, there is no clear delineation between work and home as sometime employees may have the feeling of working all the time. Manager feels that employees can be contacted all the time due to flexible work schedule (Heathfield, 2018).

Employers

Advantages

Heathfield, 2018 also found that employers can gain below benefits when allowing a flexible work schedule:

Disadvantages

In team-oriented departments, teams still need to meet and flexible work schedule might reduce team work. Some people take advantage of the flexibility and use that mostly for personal purpose; therefore, employer feels that working hours cannot be controlled. Moreover, some managers will have trouble to adjust to new management style which requires trust rather than traditional style which managers can see when staffs come to work, watch what staffs do, and when people leave for home. Clients might feel inconvenient when not able to reach person in charge by calling office number. Meanwhile, employers sometimes struggle with fairness when only certain employees can work remotely (Heathfield, 2018).

Type of Flexible Work Arrangement

Current definition of flexible work schedule builds on the concept of employee scheduling discretion enabling employees to have some choice to determine how long, when, or where to work for various time period (e.g., days, weeks, seasons). Figure 2 below provides basic type and definition as well as examples of flexible work schedules.

 Figure 2

Types and Examples of Flexible Work Schedules

Basic Type and Definition

Flexibility in the timing of work

Definition: flexibility in when work occurs

Flexibility in the location, or place of work

Definition: flexibility in the location or place where work occurs

Flexibility in amount of work

Definition: flexibility in amount of work or workload

Flexibility in work continuity

Definition: flexibility to allow for employment breaks or time off

Examples

  • Flextime
  • Core days
  • Result-based professional work
  • Contingent work
  • Rotating shifts
  • Shift work
  • 4-day work week
  • Compressed work week
  • Weekend, evening, night work
  • Telework or flexplace satellite offices
  • Required travel or client office work
  • Split locations
  • Job sharing
  • Reduced load or customized work
  • Part-time work
  • Overtime mandates or limit
  • Work-study or coops
  • Short-term or long-term leaves
  • Extended paid and unpaid leaves
  • Vacation
  • Sick leaves
  • Part-year work
  • Intermittent leave

Source: Ellen & Jesse, 2011, p. 539.

How to Get Started for Employer?

In order to make sure an effective flexible work arrangement, employer should start with the following steps for formalizing and evaluating impact of this arrangement:

  1. Consider the important issues.
  2. Identify possible options.
  3. Formulate policies.
  4. Communicate the change.
  5. Run a pilot or trial period and evaluate it.
  6. Amend and extend the program if necessary.
  7. Monitor and evaluate.

Conclusion

Knowing all the advantages of having a flexible work schedule, employer will be more open to offer employees a flexi schedule, and it will continue spread in future with support from modern technologies. Work can happen anywhere, anytime without requiring people to physically stay in an office. However, each job has a specific requirement that employees and employers should consider whether flexible working hours is workable and eventually provide convenient and benefits for both sides.

Recommendation

In many cases, employees might feel uncomfortable to ask employers for a flexible work schedule. It is important to be aware of both the pros and cons from employers’ perspective to look for way to minimize the potential downside while emphasizing the benefits to the company. To make it convincingly, it is recommended to do the following:

  • Be outstanding at work: managers will have the tendency to prioritize outstanding workers as they will feel more comfortable to try new way of working on those top performers.
  • Suggest a trial period: it is recommended to test new way of working in a small scale so that employer will feel more confident to try it as finally performance result is what employer care the most. On the other side, this will help employer as well to see whether working on a flexible schedule is suitable for the job and employees’ personal life or not .
  • Set goals: expectations should be set with direct manager before implementation.
  • Anticipate problems: be sure the request fits employee’s working style. For example, if one finds morning work are unproductive, do not recommend working two hours early in the morning. Considering all issues might happen due to the change in work schedule and find solutions.
  • Perform good: once flexible schedule has been granted, make sure all expectations have been set is met. Employees should inform manager the results and recommend to work on full flexible work schedule.

Works Cited

Bibliography

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