The benefits of flexible work are becoming more known as companies begin implementing this policy in response to the pandemic.
Still not sure whether to offer flexible working hours? This article will break down some of its most significant advantages (and disadvantages) and help you decide what’s best for your organization.
Benefit 1: Reduced Cost
Office spaces come with constraints. Your square footage can only fit so many employees before it needs to be expanded. Plus, with the uncertainty of COVID and its variants continuing to loom, many employers aren’t sure when full return to office is a safe bet. Why keep paying rent?
In places such as New York City, office space costs roughly $6 per square foot with that figure dropping as low as $1.74 per square foot in Atlanta, Georgia. On average, you can expect an employee to require 125-175 square feet of office space. If you have 100 employees using 150 square feet of office space in NYC, that bill will run you $90,000.
When considering the benefits of flexible work, remember the cost savings. Eliminate the office, or switch to hot-desking and a smaller office, and save lots of money!
Benefit 2: Fewer Distractions
While there are certain disadvantages of flexible working, such as at-home distractions – the dog, kids, and neighbors – it’s also true that working from the office can be incredibly distracting. One study found that 75% of people choosing to work remotely do so because it poses fewer distractions.
Working in person at the office means bumping into coworkers more often, and while that can spark some insightful conversations, it’s often merely a distraction. Further, managers may be tempted to pull more employees into a meeting if they’re right down the hall rather than at home in front of a computer.
Benefit 3: Greater Work-Life Balance
According to Zenefits, 77% of employees find flexible work options a major consideration when evaluating job prospects. Another 36% are considering leaving their job due to a lack of flexible work arrangements.
Employees see the benefits of flexible work and actively seek to improve their work-life balance. Giving employees what they want improves productivity, retains and attracts top talent, and much more that we’ll discuss here.
Benefit 4: Freedom to Work When Your Mind is the Strongest
Some of us are night owls, others morning workers, and some are the most productive after an early-afternoon nap. While there are certain trends among all of us, such as post-lunch being the least productive time of day, there are individualities in when people work best.
Allowing people to work while their productivity is highest means greater output and increased satisfaction. Employees will get more done faster, making this a benefit of flexible work that you can’t ignore.
Benefit 5: Improves Employee Morale
Considering the benefits of flexible work, it’s no surprise that being offered the option improves employee morale. Allowing your people to work during their peak hours, better dictate their own schedules, and reduce distractions boosts how they’re feeling.
Happy employees are more likely to stick around (and even recruit their friends), so focus on keeping your people happy.
Benefit 6: Better Productivity
86% of workers prefer to work alone to achieve maximum productivity. What’s more, remote workers are 35-40% more productive than those working at the office. When considering the benefits of flexible work, improved productivity can’t be ignored.
Employees are the most productive when they’re happy, and their needs are being met. A comfortable and caring culture at your company is essential for improved productivity, and offering flexible work is an excellent way to stoke that flame.
Benefit 7: Attracts (and Retains) the Best Talent
One of the most significant benefits of flexible work is attracting and retaining the best talent. One study finds that 74% of people would quit their current jobs to work somewhere that offers flexible work. Further, companies that offer flexible work schedules have a 25% lower turnover than those that don’t.
Currently, we’re experiencing what many call the “Great Resignation.” Attracting and retaining top talent is more essential – and challenging – than ever. If there were ever a time to offer flexible work options to attract employees, now is it.
Some Disadvantages of Flexible Working
While there are many benefits of flexible work, you as the employer need to closely evaluate both the advantages and disadvantages of flexible working hours. Here are some drawbacks to consider before making the switch.
First, some managers may have trouble adjusting. Many of them are used to keeping close tabs on what their employees are doing while at the office, but working remotely means letting go of some of that oversight. This requires trust in your employees – which you should be working hard to achieve anyway – and it may take some time to establish.
Further, team-oriented groups who require in-person collaboration may struggle. That’s where the flexible in flexible work comes in! Guidelines will need to be set and schedules adjusted so these teams can meet when necessary.
Additionally, employees who require more structure to their day may find it challenging to keep up or stay productive at home. And some in-office employees view at-home workers as “slackers.” As an employer, it’s your job to keep everyone on track and dispel any myths.
Do the Benefits of Flexible Work Outweigh the Disadvantages?
When evaluating the benefits of flexible work versus its drawbacks, only you know what’s best for your team or company. You’ll need to carefully weigh both the advantages and disadvantages of flexible working hours to arrive at the right decision.
Flexible work offers many benefits that in-person work can’t. At the very least, it could be worth trying.
Need to hire senior leadership that believes in the power of flexible work? Jennings Executive can help you find the best person for the job. Learn more today!