How Flexible is Your Office?

As I work from home today, I’m reminded how grateful I am that my employer recognizes the demands of our current, fast-paced age which sometimes can require more a person/employee than is seemingly possible in just a 40-hour workweek. How many of us have struggled with things like needing to be home for a four-hour period waiting for the cable installer to show up or being available to care for a sick child? We’re physically capable of doing work but just need to be home.

The flexible work environment isn’t just about allowing employees to work remotely. It takes on all shapes and sizes, whether it’s four 10-hour days, early or late start/end times, making up hours on the weekend, etc. And, while this flexibility is good for some employees, it’s beneficial for employers as well. Here are a few reasons you might consider it:

  1. Attract the best employees. Believe it or not, an increasing amount of people are willing to take a lower paying job in a flexible environment over a higher paying job where the hours are rigid. Offering flexibility can set your business apart from other employers and allow you to hire the best.
  2. Increase morale. Employees who are better able to take care of the necessities in their personal lives are going to be happier about where they work.
  3. Healthier employees are more productive. Studies have shown that people who are able to spend time with their families and get enough sleep have lower stress. Being able to have some say in their schedule encourages them to more effectively balance their lives. Lower stress has a direct impact on productivity, so the bottom line is… you’re getting better output without the stifling impact of excessive stress. (I’ve found I tend to be more productive at home on solo projects mainly because of less interruptions!)

For most businesses, this won’t mean employees get to choose their entire schedule; and of course, there are some industries where flextime just isn’t an option at all. The key is doing what works best for both parties. In a world where demands are constantly changing, we’re forced to consider ways we can accommodate. A few final questions to think about – Can you define some core days where everyone in the office all works at the same time while allowing flexibility on other days? What kind of guidelines could you set that would allow flexibility yet still create some accountability?

Reach out and share your tips and recommendations to me – I’d love to hear them.

About the Author

+Carolyn Kanabrocki is a consultant with Morrison, providing business valuations, business planning (including budgeting, cash flow forecasting, and strategic planning), feasibility studies, interim controller services, recruitment, competitive grant writing and special projects that don't fit into any conventional category. You can contact Carolyn directly at ckanabrocki@morrisonco.net or via telephone at 530-893-4764 ext. 212.

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