21 min read

What Is a Flexible Work Schedule and How to Create One

November 8, 2022

Do you sometimes wish your employees had more control over their work schedule? Are you 

considering offering flexible hours? We're going to talk about what that means and why some people love it while others prefer the traditional 9-5 office culture. If you want more time for your employees or flexibility, this article is for you!

In the 21st century, work has become a very flexible concept. People can work remotely with the help of modern technology; as a result, hours and days traditionally reserved for an office job can be utilized for anything we want.

93% of employees said flexible schedules have been among the most beneficial changes since the pandemic, according to a Qualtrics study.

employee statistics on flexible work schedules

Image Source

It's no secret that the rise of remote work has enabled people to have a more flexible schedule. But it has yet to make it easier for employers to create and adhere to a clear and consistent policy around flexible work.

This can be especially tricky if you're in a position where you need employees to be on call for specific tasks.

How can you create a flexible policy for telecommuting that allows people to remain productive without neglecting their responsibilities at work?

Don't worry. We've got you covered.

This article will discuss:

  • What is a flexible work arrangement?
  • Examples, benefits, and challenges of flexible work.
  • How to create a flexible work policy?

Let's get started!

What is a flexible work schedule?

A flexible work schedule is an arrangement in which employees can choose their starting and ending times and the number of hours they work. It can also include part-time work, telecommuting, and job sharing. A flexible schedule allows employees to balance their work and personal responsibilities. Some companies offer this option as an employee benefit; others may provide it only in exceptional circumstances.

Employers may offer flexible schedules to attract the best talent or retain current employees who have become parents.

Examples of flexible work arrangements

Flexible work arrangements are defined as "any work schedule that differs from the traditional, fixed 9-to-5 work day and 40-hour work week." 

Here are some examples of flexible work arrangements.

Meeting-free days

Meeting-free days are days on which the employee has no meetings scheduled. This arrangement may also be referred to as meeting-free zones or no-meeting days.

According to the 2020 Owl Labs State of Remote Work report, 80% of respondents strongly agreed that there should be one day a week with no meetings.

The employees may use the time to work on a project or complete other tasks. This arrangement benefits employee who have meetings scheduled every day of the week. It allows them to catch up on projects that are falling behind during their regular workdays.

4-Day workweek or compressed workweek

This flexible work option is when an employee works the same number of hours in fewer days, often resulting in a long weekend. For example, instead of working five days per week, an employee might work four 10-hour days (40 hours) and have the fifth day off each week. Or they could work 80 hours in nine days and have the tenth day off to have a long weekend every other week.

In the summer of 2019, Microsoft Japan implemented a four-day workweek while still paying employees for their standard five days. 

The result?

It improved productivity by 40%, electricity costs fell 23%, and even printing went down 60%!

A compressed work schedule is the same or fewer hours than a traditional 40-hour workweek but with more days off than a typical 9-to-5 schedule.

Daily flexible schedules

This schedule, known as flextime, allows employees to decide when to come in and leave on any given day. Employees can choose from several options, such as 8:00 am–4:30 pm or 9:00 am–6:00 pm. This alternative work schedule allows for more flexibility for both the employer and the employee.

These flextime schedules are often used by companies with fluctuating workloads or needing to accommodate employees with other responsibilities outside of work, such as child care or eldercare.

Location flexibility

It allows employees to choose where, when, and how to work. Telecommuting—or working remotely from a different location than your office—is the most common kind of location flexibility but not the only one; some workers may work out of their home branch or satellite offices.

Hybrid schedule

A hybrid work schedule is an arrangement that allows employees to work remotely at times but also requires them to come into the office for face-to-face meetings with their colleagues and customers. It combines aspects of both telecommuting and a traditional 9-5 workweek.

For example, you might manage a hybrid team that works remotely on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays and comes into the office Tuesdays and Fridays. Or you might have someone who works full-time in an office but has one day each week where they're allowed to do all of their work remotely.

Reduced schedule

A reduced schedule lets employees work less than their usual workweek. This may be an option for employees with family obligations or those whose job responsibilities can be reduced.

For example, if you have a sales position that requires you to make calls and meet with customers, your employer may allow you to take a reduced schedule during the months when your children are out of school. In this flexible working scenario, you may be able to work three days instead of five days per week.

Reduced schedules can also help employers retain valuable employees by allowing flexibility in scheduling their work hours around other obligations such as child care or medical treatment.

Remote working schedule

The practice of remote working involves working outside of a traditional office environment, such as working from home or another location. It has become increasingly popular in recent years as more companies look to cut costs and provide employees with more flexibility.

Remote work can be an effective way to boost productivity, reduce stress and increase employee satisfaction.

However, it's important to remember that remote workers are still employees and must be treated fairly by their employers.

Benefits of flexible work schedule

Flexible work schedules allow employees to vary their start and end times and work days. This can help increase productivity and employee satisfaction while reducing stress.

There are many benefits to flexible work schedules that can help persuade your boss, or yourself, that it would be a great way to improve work-life balance, performance management, and job satisfaction. Here are a few.

Adjust to fit family needs

A flexible work schedule can also greatly benefit employees with other responsibilities outside of work. It can help employees with children or elderly parents who may need to take care of them during specific hours.

The idea behind a flexible work schedule is that it allows employees to adjust their working hours according to their needs. An employee, for example, could use this benefit to start earlier in the morning or stay late at night, depending on their personal needs. A mother could also use this benefit to leave early on Thursdays so that she can pick up her children from school and spend more time with them on weekends.

Indulge in self-care

Self-care is essential for everyone, but it's especially important for those who work in demanding positions. Finding the time and energy to care for yourself when busy at work can be challenging.

Employees can indulge in self-care activities with a flexible work schedule because they will have more time available. For example, if someone needs time off from work to see the doctor or dentist, they will be able to do so without worrying about losing out on pay or other benefits.

Have passions outside of work

Employees who are free to pursue other passions outside work are more engaged, productive, and loyal. This is because they're happier and more fulfilled. Allowing employees to have passions outside work improves their work-life balance and makes them feel more valued.

For example, if someone loves to play golf or volunteer at a local organization, they may have to travel often on weekends and evenings. A flexible schedule lets them do this while still fulfilling their responsibilities at the office.

Increase productivity

Employees who have flexible schedules are more likely to be productive during the times when they choose to work. With this, they can set up their schedules according to what they feel most productive at a particular time. Some people are morning larks, others evening owls.

Employees who can adjust their schedules according to their productivity levels will get more done in less time, thus improving a company's overall productivity.

Your employees can avoid rush hour

One of the main reasons why employees request a flexible schedule is to avoid rush hour traffic and other commuting hassles. When you allow your employees to adjust their hours, they can choose when they work so they can avoid having to deal with significant commutes or traffic jams daily. 

This can help reduce tardiness among employees who live far from their workplace or have other transportation issues that make it challenging to get there every day before 9:00 am.

You give employees a sense of autonomy

Flexible work schedules allow employees to choose when they work and when they take time off from work. Employees can also set their own work hours to work at a convenient time instead of following a rigid schedule dictated by their employer. 

For example, an employee might be able to take care of personal matters during business hours because she has flexible scheduling options.

With this freedom, employees may be more satisfied with their jobs and feel less stressed about doing everything at once. This can lead to increased performance on the job as well as better overall results for your company.

Recruit and retain better talent

The employee experience is becoming more critical than ever, and companies that offer flexible scheduling options are often viewed as more attractive workplaces.

A Microsoft survey involving more than 30,000 workers in 31 countries found that over 70% of employees want the flexible remote work option to stay.

employees want to keep flexible work schedules

Image Source

So, if you can offer your employees this option, it's likely that you'll improve the quality and retention of your workforce.

Saves up on costs

A flexible work schedule helps save costs for both employers and employees alike. For instance, if an employee wants to work from home, they might not need transportation or office supplies, which will help your company save money. This means lower overhead costs and higher profits for your business.

Improve employee work-life balance

Another benefit of flexible work schedules is that they allow employees to balance their professional and personal lives by allowing them more flexibility in scheduling their hours at the office or home than traditional 9-to-5 jobs often allow. As long as your employees meet their deadlines and deliver quality results for clients or customers, this benefit can translate into happier employees who work harder and more efficiently.

Challenges of flexible work schedule

Many companies find that allowing employees to work flexibly can effectively retain talent, increase employee satisfaction, and improve productivity.

However, employers should be aware of some challenges with flexible work schedules when considering them for their employees.

The following are some of the most common challenges with flexible working schedules.

Difficulty in arranging meetings

It may be challenging to get everyone together simultaneously if not all employees have traditional 9-to-5 schedules. This can make it harder for teams to collaborate on projects, affecting productivity levels.

For example, a team of people with traditional 9-to-5 schedules may be able to meet at 11 am one day but not at noon or 3 pm later in the week due to other commitments.

Employees with flex schedules may also need more advance notice about meetings to plan their schedules and make sure someone is available for childcare needs during business hours.

You can alleviate this issue by setting core hours in the middle of the day when your team needs to work in case you need to schedule meetings during that time. This way, employees can still have flextime of starting their day earlier or later, but can still all be expected during certain hours to make scheduling meetings easier.

Lack of boundaries

Remote employees who work from home may feel as though they never truly leave work behind, which can be exhausting and lead to burnout. When you aren't physically present at work, it can be difficult to resist checking your email or social media accounts every five minutes. You could even find yourself staring at your phone for hours at home because you want to be available anytime during the day (or night).

Even if an employee has an excellent work-life balance, it can still be challenging to separate their home life from their work life if they're constantly checking emails or doing other tasks on their computer after hours.

Less structure

People who work from home often need to make more effort than those working with colleagues under the same roof. They must set goals and work toward them to avoid falling behind on their projects.

The lack of supervision makes it easier for employees to procrastinate or lose focus on their tasks, leading to lower productivity. Managers may also find it challenging to keep track of remote workers' progress on projects.

That's why employees need to set boundaries around their work hours and expectations for when to respond to messages or calls from colleagues.

A lack of rapport with your coworkers

When you work on a flexible schedule, connecting with your coworkers and making professional relationships can be difficult. You may feel you have fewer opportunities to bond with your team members because they're not in the office as often or simultaneously as you are. 

This can make it hard for people to get to know each other individually. This lack of relationship building makes it harder for people to trust each other and collaborate effectively on projects or ideas.

Employees taking fewer sick days

One of the biggest challenges with flexible work schedules is that people can easily get stuck in their routines, which can quickly lead to exhaustion and stress.

According to a recent survey, two-thirds of US workers feel pressured to work through sickness.

This may cause them to push through the day without taking breaks. That's why companies should encourage their employees to take regular intervals throughout each workday, even if they're working from home.

Management doesn't want the change

Upper management doesn't always embrace the idea of a flexible work schedule. They may need help understanding the benefits or believe managing their employees' time will be more challenging. They may also be concerned that their employees will abuse the flexible work arrangement, or they may not want to give up control over their workers.

An inability to delegate responsibility.

Some managers don't have enough experience with flexible schedules, so they're afraid to try something new. Managers who are uncomfortable with flexible work schedules can create challenges for employees who want them. This can be especially true for managers who tend to micro-manage or have difficulty delegating tasks.

Proximity bias

Proximity bias is another problem that can arise when managers don't have direct contact with their employees. A manager who doesn't see an employee every day may not understand how flexible schedules affect their work, so they're more likely to believe that employees who work remotely need to work harder.

How to implement flexible work schedule practice in your organization?

Flexible workplace policies can help businesses take advantage of the benefits of a remote workforce. However, implementing such practices in your organization requires careful planning and consideration. 

Here are some tips on implementing flexible work schedule practice in your organization.

Set clear expectations

There are many ways to implement a flexible work schedule in your organization. The first step is to have management and human resources set clear expectations with your employees.

If you want to give people the option of working from home, you need to let them know the policy and how they should go about it. There are several ways you can do this.

Write a company-wide email or blog post explaining the new policy and what it means for employees. This could include details like which days are eligible for flexible work schedules, whether you will reimburse mileage and travel costs, and whether there are any restrictions on when you can use this benefit.

Post an FAQ page on your website that explains any common questions and answers about the flexible working arrangement in more detail.

Ask HR to create an online form where employees can submit requests or questions about how the policy works, which can also be used as a way for employees to request approval.

Make sure that resources are available, like training materials and guides, so people know exactly how to use flexible work schedules.

If you have more than one office, ensure the policy is consistent across all locations. This way, employees will clearly understand the benefits they could receive if needed.

Involve employees in planning flexible work hours

It is essential to involve employees in the planning process, as they will be the ones who will have to implement the new flexible work schedule practice in your organization. Knowing what employees need is essential to gaining their buy-in.

One way to do this is to conduct surveys or interviews with employees. You can also use focus groups to ask questions about their work and their needs. Taking the time to find out what employees want will make them feel like their needs are being considered and that they have a voice in implementing flexible work schedules.

For employees to feel involved and buy into your plans, invite them to meetings where decisions are being made about how flexible work schedules will be implemented. It's also a good idea for managers, human resources, and supervisors to talk with employees about their concerns and answer any questions before any new policies go into effect.

Provide the right technology

Many types of technology can be used to implement a flexible work schedule practice in your organization. The technology you use will depend on your business needs and budget.

The following are some technology tools that can help with workplace flexibility.

For managing time and attendance

This helps employees enter their arrival and departure times, check-in/out, and record their breaks. It also provides managers with real-time data on productivity and attendance patterns.

For scheduling meetings and events 

This allows managers to organize one-on-one meetings and team events more efficiently by scheduling them online or on mobile devices. They can also look at resources' availability before confirming a meeting or event.

For managing email communication channels with customers and employees 

You can set up separate email communication channels for different departments or teams so that each team only gets emails from people relevant to their jobs. This reduces the chances of spam messages getting into inboxes unnecessarily.

If you want to help employees save time writing tons of emails to customers and colleagues, try out Copy.ai. This AI-based software can help you save time in writing emails by creating templates and assisting you with the content. It also allows users to customize emails based on their preferences.

Try out Copy.ai's Free Email Subject Line Generator to see how it can help you.

For managing employee performance reviews

You can manage employee performance reviews through automated systems that collect feedback from employees regularly throughout the year in an anonymous way and then create reports for managers to use in their performance reviews. All the data is stored in a secure database and can be accessed by managers at any time.

Hold employees accountable

Accountability is the cornerstone of any company's success. It leads to higher employee engagement and productivity, which helps build a strong brand.

Flexible work schedules can create a culture of accountability in your organization by clarifying expectations of employees in certain situations.

Here are some ways to hold employees accountable during a flexible work schedule.

Provide clear direction on what needs to be done and when. Ensure that every employee knows what they need to accomplish and when it needs to be done. 

If you still need to create this type of structure in your company, consider making a checklist or calendar that outlines your expectations in an easy-to-read format. This will help ensure that everyone follows through with their tasks and deadlines on time.

Give feedback on performance regularly. While it may seem like an unnecessary step in the process, giving feedback on performance at least once per month can help keep employees accountable for their actions—even if they aren't working from an office anymore! 

Ensure you allow your employees to correct mistakes as soon as they make them, rather than being told about their errors through an email or text message.

Have a practice run

It is important to have a practice run before implementing flexible work scheduling in the workplace. This will help you ensure that you have the right tools and resources for employees. You will also be able to identify any potential challenges that may arise when using flexible work schedules and address them before they become an issue.

Here are some major ways to practice a flexible work schedule before implementing it company-wide.

Try it out yourself first

To implement a flexible work schedule in your organization, you must try it out yourself and see how it works. You can experience this schedule by working from home, trying out a flextime schedule, or telecommuting at least once per week. This will help you understand the benefits and drawbacks of such a flexible schedule so that when you implement it in your company, it will be easier for everyone involved.

Read up on research

Plenty of research is available about flexible work schedules and how they can improve employee productivity and job satisfaction in organizations. You should read up on some of these studies before deciding whether or not this type of schedule would benefit your company.

Get buy-in from management

Most managers want their employees to feel free from being forced into working from home or telecommuting regularly. To implement this type of policy, start by getting buy-in from management first so they can be on board with what is happening in their department.

Conduct interviews with employees and managers

Ask them about their views on flexible work schedules and how they feel about it. This will give you an insight into what needs to be done for everyone to adapt quickly.

Create a flexible work schedule policy

Once you have the buy-in of management and employees, it is time to create a policy that will govern how flexible work schedules will be implemented within your organization. You can use this as a guide for creating such a policy.

Establish a consistent work schedule

Establish core work hours at a time of day when employees are expected to be in the office or working at home, and post it on everyone's calendar.

The standard work window is usually between 8:30 am and 6:00 pm, but it can vary depending on the organization. All employees should agree on the hours and days of the week they will be working from home. This will help you avoid confusion with other employees working at home at different times.

The standard work window should also include structure so that employees know what they need to accomplish each day while not at the office.

Observe and optimize

It is essential to monitor, assess, and update flex programs to ensure they meet goals.  The following tips will help you do that.

Monitor performance metrics

Take time to review metrics associated with flex programs, such as turnover and absenteeism. If these numbers are higher than expected or trending upward, consider making changes based on the data you collect.

Assess employee satisfaction

Surveys can be a valuable way to measure employee satisfaction with flex programs. Ask questions about how flexible schedules impact the quality of life outside work.

If employees are not satisfied with a flex program or are not using it to its full potential, it might be time to make changes or consider switching to another model altogether.

Flexible work arrangements are not a one size fits all solution 

Each organization will have different needs and goals for implementing them. Therefore, it is important to monitor how your flex program works to assess whether it meets your needs. If not, you may need to modify or update your flex program.

Conclusion on flexible work schedules

Flexible work schedules allow employees to choose when and where they want to work. This freedom can help with employee engagement, productivity, and retention.

There are many options for flexible work schedules, and it can be hard to know where to start.

It's important to remember that every company is different, and what works for one may not work for another. The best way to figure out which option is suitable for your team is to talk with them about what they want and need.

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21 min read

What Is a Flexible Work Schedule and How to Create One

November 8, 2022

Do you sometimes wish your employees had more control over their work schedule? Are you 

considering offering flexible hours? We're going to talk about what that means and why some people love it while others prefer the traditional 9-5 office culture. If you want more time for your employees or flexibility, this article is for you!

In the 21st century, work has become a very flexible concept. People can work remotely with the help of modern technology; as a result, hours and days traditionally reserved for an office job can be utilized for anything we want.

93% of employees said flexible schedules have been among the most beneficial changes since the pandemic, according to a Qualtrics study.

employee statistics on flexible work schedules

Image Source

It's no secret that the rise of remote work has enabled people to have a more flexible schedule. But it has yet to make it easier for employers to create and adhere to a clear and consistent policy around flexible work.

This can be especially tricky if you're in a position where you need employees to be on call for specific tasks.

How can you create a flexible policy for telecommuting that allows people to remain productive without neglecting their responsibilities at work?

Don't worry. We've got you covered.

This article will discuss:

  • What is a flexible work arrangement?
  • Examples, benefits, and challenges of flexible work.
  • How to create a flexible work policy?

Let's get started!

What is a flexible work schedule?

A flexible work schedule is an arrangement in which employees can choose their starting and ending times and the number of hours they work. It can also include part-time work, telecommuting, and job sharing. A flexible schedule allows employees to balance their work and personal responsibilities. Some companies offer this option as an employee benefit; others may provide it only in exceptional circumstances.

Employers may offer flexible schedules to attract the best talent or retain current employees who have become parents.

Examples of flexible work arrangements

Flexible work arrangements are defined as "any work schedule that differs from the traditional, fixed 9-to-5 work day and 40-hour work week." 

Here are some examples of flexible work arrangements.

Meeting-free days

Meeting-free days are days on which the employee has no meetings scheduled. This arrangement may also be referred to as meeting-free zones or no-meeting days.

According to the 2020 Owl Labs State of Remote Work report, 80% of respondents strongly agreed that there should be one day a week with no meetings.

The employees may use the time to work on a project or complete other tasks. This arrangement benefits employee who have meetings scheduled every day of the week. It allows them to catch up on projects that are falling behind during their regular workdays.

4-Day workweek or compressed workweek

This flexible work option is when an employee works the same number of hours in fewer days, often resulting in a long weekend. For example, instead of working five days per week, an employee might work four 10-hour days (40 hours) and have the fifth day off each week. Or they could work 80 hours in nine days and have the tenth day off to have a long weekend every other week.

In the summer of 2019, Microsoft Japan implemented a four-day workweek while still paying employees for their standard five days. 

The result?

It improved productivity by 40%, electricity costs fell 23%, and even printing went down 60%!

A compressed work schedule is the same or fewer hours than a traditional 40-hour workweek but with more days off than a typical 9-to-5 schedule.

Daily flexible schedules

This schedule, known as flextime, allows employees to decide when to come in and leave on any given day. Employees can choose from several options, such as 8:00 am–4:30 pm or 9:00 am–6:00 pm. This alternative work schedule allows for more flexibility for both the employer and the employee.

These flextime schedules are often used by companies with fluctuating workloads or needing to accommodate employees with other responsibilities outside of work, such as child care or eldercare.

Location flexibility

It allows employees to choose where, when, and how to work. Telecommuting—or working remotely from a different location than your office—is the most common kind of location flexibility but not the only one; some workers may work out of their home branch or satellite offices.

Hybrid schedule

A hybrid work schedule is an arrangement that allows employees to work remotely at times but also requires them to come into the office for face-to-face meetings with their colleagues and customers. It combines aspects of both telecommuting and a traditional 9-5 workweek.

For example, you might manage a hybrid team that works remotely on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays and comes into the office Tuesdays and Fridays. Or you might have someone who works full-time in an office but has one day each week where they're allowed to do all of their work remotely.

Reduced schedule

A reduced schedule lets employees work less than their usual workweek. This may be an option for employees with family obligations or those whose job responsibilities can be reduced.

For example, if you have a sales position that requires you to make calls and meet with customers, your employer may allow you to take a reduced schedule during the months when your children are out of school. In this flexible working scenario, you may be able to work three days instead of five days per week.

Reduced schedules can also help employers retain valuable employees by allowing flexibility in scheduling their work hours around other obligations such as child care or medical treatment.

Remote working schedule

The practice of remote working involves working outside of a traditional office environment, such as working from home or another location. It has become increasingly popular in recent years as more companies look to cut costs and provide employees with more flexibility.

Remote work can be an effective way to boost productivity, reduce stress and increase employee satisfaction.

However, it's important to remember that remote workers are still employees and must be treated fairly by their employers.

Benefits of flexible work schedule

Flexible work schedules allow employees to vary their start and end times and work days. This can help increase productivity and employee satisfaction while reducing stress.

There are many benefits to flexible work schedules that can help persuade your boss, or yourself, that it would be a great way to improve work-life balance, performance management, and job satisfaction. Here are a few.

Adjust to fit family needs

A flexible work schedule can also greatly benefit employees with other responsibilities outside of work. It can help employees with children or elderly parents who may need to take care of them during specific hours.

The idea behind a flexible work schedule is that it allows employees to adjust their working hours according to their needs. An employee, for example, could use this benefit to start earlier in the morning or stay late at night, depending on their personal needs. A mother could also use this benefit to leave early on Thursdays so that she can pick up her children from school and spend more time with them on weekends.

Indulge in self-care

Self-care is essential for everyone, but it's especially important for those who work in demanding positions. Finding the time and energy to care for yourself when busy at work can be challenging.

Employees can indulge in self-care activities with a flexible work schedule because they will have more time available. For example, if someone needs time off from work to see the doctor or dentist, they will be able to do so without worrying about losing out on pay or other benefits.

Have passions outside of work

Employees who are free to pursue other passions outside work are more engaged, productive, and loyal. This is because they're happier and more fulfilled. Allowing employees to have passions outside work improves their work-life balance and makes them feel more valued.

For example, if someone loves to play golf or volunteer at a local organization, they may have to travel often on weekends and evenings. A flexible schedule lets them do this while still fulfilling their responsibilities at the office.

Increase productivity

Employees who have flexible schedules are more likely to be productive during the times when they choose to work. With this, they can set up their schedules according to what they feel most productive at a particular time. Some people are morning larks, others evening owls.

Employees who can adjust their schedules according to their productivity levels will get more done in less time, thus improving a company's overall productivity.

Your employees can avoid rush hour

One of the main reasons why employees request a flexible schedule is to avoid rush hour traffic and other commuting hassles. When you allow your employees to adjust their hours, they can choose when they work so they can avoid having to deal with significant commutes or traffic jams daily. 

This can help reduce tardiness among employees who live far from their workplace or have other transportation issues that make it challenging to get there every day before 9:00 am.

You give employees a sense of autonomy

Flexible work schedules allow employees to choose when they work and when they take time off from work. Employees can also set their own work hours to work at a convenient time instead of following a rigid schedule dictated by their employer. 

For example, an employee might be able to take care of personal matters during business hours because she has flexible scheduling options.

With this freedom, employees may be more satisfied with their jobs and feel less stressed about doing everything at once. This can lead to increased performance on the job as well as better overall results for your company.

Recruit and retain better talent

The employee experience is becoming more critical than ever, and companies that offer flexible scheduling options are often viewed as more attractive workplaces.

A Microsoft survey involving more than 30,000 workers in 31 countries found that over 70% of employees want the flexible remote work option to stay.

employees want to keep flexible work schedules

Image Source

So, if you can offer your employees this option, it's likely that you'll improve the quality and retention of your workforce.

Saves up on costs

A flexible work schedule helps save costs for both employers and employees alike. For instance, if an employee wants to work from home, they might not need transportation or office supplies, which will help your company save money. This means lower overhead costs and higher profits for your business.

Improve employee work-life balance

Another benefit of flexible work schedules is that they allow employees to balance their professional and personal lives by allowing them more flexibility in scheduling their hours at the office or home than traditional 9-to-5 jobs often allow. As long as your employees meet their deadlines and deliver quality results for clients or customers, this benefit can translate into happier employees who work harder and more efficiently.

Challenges of flexible work schedule

Many companies find that allowing employees to work flexibly can effectively retain talent, increase employee satisfaction, and improve productivity.

However, employers should be aware of some challenges with flexible work schedules when considering them for their employees.

The following are some of the most common challenges with flexible working schedules.

Difficulty in arranging meetings

It may be challenging to get everyone together simultaneously if not all employees have traditional 9-to-5 schedules. This can make it harder for teams to collaborate on projects, affecting productivity levels.

For example, a team of people with traditional 9-to-5 schedules may be able to meet at 11 am one day but not at noon or 3 pm later in the week due to other commitments.

Employees with flex schedules may also need more advance notice about meetings to plan their schedules and make sure someone is available for childcare needs during business hours.

You can alleviate this issue by setting core hours in the middle of the day when your team needs to work in case you need to schedule meetings during that time. This way, employees can still have flextime of starting their day earlier or later, but can still all be expected during certain hours to make scheduling meetings easier.

Lack of boundaries

Remote employees who work from home may feel as though they never truly leave work behind, which can be exhausting and lead to burnout. When you aren't physically present at work, it can be difficult to resist checking your email or social media accounts every five minutes. You could even find yourself staring at your phone for hours at home because you want to be available anytime during the day (or night).

Even if an employee has an excellent work-life balance, it can still be challenging to separate their home life from their work life if they're constantly checking emails or doing other tasks on their computer after hours.

Less structure

People who work from home often need to make more effort than those working with colleagues under the same roof. They must set goals and work toward them to avoid falling behind on their projects.

The lack of supervision makes it easier for employees to procrastinate or lose focus on their tasks, leading to lower productivity. Managers may also find it challenging to keep track of remote workers' progress on projects.

That's why employees need to set boundaries around their work hours and expectations for when to respond to messages or calls from colleagues.

A lack of rapport with your coworkers

When you work on a flexible schedule, connecting with your coworkers and making professional relationships can be difficult. You may feel you have fewer opportunities to bond with your team members because they're not in the office as often or simultaneously as you are. 

This can make it hard for people to get to know each other individually. This lack of relationship building makes it harder for people to trust each other and collaborate effectively on projects or ideas.

Employees taking fewer sick days

One of the biggest challenges with flexible work schedules is that people can easily get stuck in their routines, which can quickly lead to exhaustion and stress.

According to a recent survey, two-thirds of US workers feel pressured to work through sickness.

This may cause them to push through the day without taking breaks. That's why companies should encourage their employees to take regular intervals throughout each workday, even if they're working from home.

Management doesn't want the change

Upper management doesn't always embrace the idea of a flexible work schedule. They may need help understanding the benefits or believe managing their employees' time will be more challenging. They may also be concerned that their employees will abuse the flexible work arrangement, or they may not want to give up control over their workers.

An inability to delegate responsibility.

Some managers don't have enough experience with flexible schedules, so they're afraid to try something new. Managers who are uncomfortable with flexible work schedules can create challenges for employees who want them. This can be especially true for managers who tend to micro-manage or have difficulty delegating tasks.

Proximity bias

Proximity bias is another problem that can arise when managers don't have direct contact with their employees. A manager who doesn't see an employee every day may not understand how flexible schedules affect their work, so they're more likely to believe that employees who work remotely need to work harder.

How to implement flexible work schedule practice in your organization?

Flexible workplace policies can help businesses take advantage of the benefits of a remote workforce. However, implementing such practices in your organization requires careful planning and consideration. 

Here are some tips on implementing flexible work schedule practice in your organization.

Set clear expectations

There are many ways to implement a flexible work schedule in your organization. The first step is to have management and human resources set clear expectations with your employees.

If you want to give people the option of working from home, you need to let them know the policy and how they should go about it. There are several ways you can do this.

Write a company-wide email or blog post explaining the new policy and what it means for employees. This could include details like which days are eligible for flexible work schedules, whether you will reimburse mileage and travel costs, and whether there are any restrictions on when you can use this benefit.

Post an FAQ page on your website that explains any common questions and answers about the flexible working arrangement in more detail.

Ask HR to create an online form where employees can submit requests or questions about how the policy works, which can also be used as a way for employees to request approval.

Make sure that resources are available, like training materials and guides, so people know exactly how to use flexible work schedules.

If you have more than one office, ensure the policy is consistent across all locations. This way, employees will clearly understand the benefits they could receive if needed.

Involve employees in planning flexible work hours

It is essential to involve employees in the planning process, as they will be the ones who will have to implement the new flexible work schedule practice in your organization. Knowing what employees need is essential to gaining their buy-in.

One way to do this is to conduct surveys or interviews with employees. You can also use focus groups to ask questions about their work and their needs. Taking the time to find out what employees want will make them feel like their needs are being considered and that they have a voice in implementing flexible work schedules.

For employees to feel involved and buy into your plans, invite them to meetings where decisions are being made about how flexible work schedules will be implemented. It's also a good idea for managers, human resources, and supervisors to talk with employees about their concerns and answer any questions before any new policies go into effect.

Provide the right technology

Many types of technology can be used to implement a flexible work schedule practice in your organization. The technology you use will depend on your business needs and budget.

The following are some technology tools that can help with workplace flexibility.

For managing time and attendance

This helps employees enter their arrival and departure times, check-in/out, and record their breaks. It also provides managers with real-time data on productivity and attendance patterns.

For scheduling meetings and events 

This allows managers to organize one-on-one meetings and team events more efficiently by scheduling them online or on mobile devices. They can also look at resources' availability before confirming a meeting or event.

For managing email communication channels with customers and employees 

You can set up separate email communication channels for different departments or teams so that each team only gets emails from people relevant to their jobs. This reduces the chances of spam messages getting into inboxes unnecessarily.

If you want to help employees save time writing tons of emails to customers and colleagues, try out Copy.ai. This AI-based software can help you save time in writing emails by creating templates and assisting you with the content. It also allows users to customize emails based on their preferences.

Try out Copy.ai's Free Email Subject Line Generator to see how it can help you.

For managing employee performance reviews

You can manage employee performance reviews through automated systems that collect feedback from employees regularly throughout the year in an anonymous way and then create reports for managers to use in their performance reviews. All the data is stored in a secure database and can be accessed by managers at any time.

Hold employees accountable

Accountability is the cornerstone of any company's success. It leads to higher employee engagement and productivity, which helps build a strong brand.

Flexible work schedules can create a culture of accountability in your organization by clarifying expectations of employees in certain situations.

Here are some ways to hold employees accountable during a flexible work schedule.

Provide clear direction on what needs to be done and when. Ensure that every employee knows what they need to accomplish and when it needs to be done. 

If you still need to create this type of structure in your company, consider making a checklist or calendar that outlines your expectations in an easy-to-read format. This will help ensure that everyone follows through with their tasks and deadlines on time.

Give feedback on performance regularly. While it may seem like an unnecessary step in the process, giving feedback on performance at least once per month can help keep employees accountable for their actions—even if they aren't working from an office anymore! 

Ensure you allow your employees to correct mistakes as soon as they make them, rather than being told about their errors through an email or text message.

Have a practice run

It is important to have a practice run before implementing flexible work scheduling in the workplace. This will help you ensure that you have the right tools and resources for employees. You will also be able to identify any potential challenges that may arise when using flexible work schedules and address them before they become an issue.

Here are some major ways to practice a flexible work schedule before implementing it company-wide.

Try it out yourself first

To implement a flexible work schedule in your organization, you must try it out yourself and see how it works. You can experience this schedule by working from home, trying out a flextime schedule, or telecommuting at least once per week. This will help you understand the benefits and drawbacks of such a flexible schedule so that when you implement it in your company, it will be easier for everyone involved.

Read up on research

Plenty of research is available about flexible work schedules and how they can improve employee productivity and job satisfaction in organizations. You should read up on some of these studies before deciding whether or not this type of schedule would benefit your company.

Get buy-in from management

Most managers want their employees to feel free from being forced into working from home or telecommuting regularly. To implement this type of policy, start by getting buy-in from management first so they can be on board with what is happening in their department.

Conduct interviews with employees and managers

Ask them about their views on flexible work schedules and how they feel about it. This will give you an insight into what needs to be done for everyone to adapt quickly.

Create a flexible work schedule policy

Once you have the buy-in of management and employees, it is time to create a policy that will govern how flexible work schedules will be implemented within your organization. You can use this as a guide for creating such a policy.

Establish a consistent work schedule

Establish core work hours at a time of day when employees are expected to be in the office or working at home, and post it on everyone's calendar.

The standard work window is usually between 8:30 am and 6:00 pm, but it can vary depending on the organization. All employees should agree on the hours and days of the week they will be working from home. This will help you avoid confusion with other employees working at home at different times.

The standard work window should also include structure so that employees know what they need to accomplish each day while not at the office.

Observe and optimize

It is essential to monitor, assess, and update flex programs to ensure they meet goals.  The following tips will help you do that.

Monitor performance metrics

Take time to review metrics associated with flex programs, such as turnover and absenteeism. If these numbers are higher than expected or trending upward, consider making changes based on the data you collect.

Assess employee satisfaction

Surveys can be a valuable way to measure employee satisfaction with flex programs. Ask questions about how flexible schedules impact the quality of life outside work.

If employees are not satisfied with a flex program or are not using it to its full potential, it might be time to make changes or consider switching to another model altogether.

Flexible work arrangements are not a one size fits all solution 

Each organization will have different needs and goals for implementing them. Therefore, it is important to monitor how your flex program works to assess whether it meets your needs. If not, you may need to modify or update your flex program.

Conclusion on flexible work schedules

Flexible work schedules allow employees to choose when and where they want to work. This freedom can help with employee engagement, productivity, and retention.

There are many options for flexible work schedules, and it can be hard to know where to start.

It's important to remember that every company is different, and what works for one may not work for another. The best way to figure out which option is suitable for your team is to talk with them about what they want and need.

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