Nearly 80 years ago, the 40-hour work week was signed into law by the United States Congress. That system of nine to five, Monday through Friday was the way our workforce operated for decades. But times have changed. It’s no longer typical for dad to go to work every morning while mom stays home with the children. In over half of families with small children, both parents work. Advances in technology now allow many of us to work anywhere at almost any time.
Businesses have responded by being more flexible with when and where their employees can work. Need to take your child to a doctor’s appointment? Work a couple hours from home before or after. Need to be to the DMV before 5:00? Come in a little early that day. Do you typically feel most creative in the evening? Start work later in the morning.
“It’s important to me that our team has a good balance between their work and their personal lives. We want them at their happiest and most productive when they work, and offering flextime has really helped,” says Penny Hatchell, President and co-owner of Envoy, Inc. “Our approach has allowed us to keep great employees here for a long time.”
People are a company’s most valuable resource. Being flexible with when and where they work is a great way to keep your employees happy and productive. Here are some ways flextime helps with employee satisfaction:
Flextime Helps Reduce Stress.
Employees who feel that their jobs consume their social and home lives often feel overly stressed. Having the option to choose their work hours can help them adjust their schedules so they can go to that baby shower for their sister, that tailgate party with their friends, or school plays and recitals for their children. Brooke Ortner, Envoy’s media director, enjoys the flextime scheduling because it means she can enjoy the things she wants to do outside of work.
“As a mom of two young kids, flexible scheduling is wonderful,” Ortner said. “My work/life balance is awesome — I don’t have to choose between family and work life. And, it eliminates the unnecessary stress of having to be in a seat at a specific time. We all function differently and having the ability to control when we work makes for a happier, more productive environment.”
Flextime Improves Efficiency and Adaptability.
If some clients are only available during specific times of the day, businesses can allow their employees to work during the best times to reach them. More availability means more time and more flexible ways to reach clients and consumers.
This is particularly useful for employees working at international companies, who may be located in the United States but have colleagues or clients around the globe. Working a typical nine to five schedule won’t work if you need to connect with colleagues or clients in Australia on a daily basis.
Flextime Eases Workloads.
Employees who decide to work an occasional evening or weekend often work on projects that might otherwise get pushed back to the next business day. This helps eliminate work pile-ups and creates more time for upcoming tasks.
Flextime is a win-win. Employees win by maintaining a healthy work/life balance and enjoy coming to work for a company that respects their time. Businesses win because a happy team leads to more productivity, efficiency, creativity, and greater employee retention.