Flexible Work Arrangements, a Growing Trend
According to a study titled Flexible Work: Perceptions and Realities, 4 out of 5 people will be in flexible work arrangement by 2016. More and more companies are implementing flexible work arrangements, flexible schedules and flexible working hours in order to to attract and retain employees. This evolving workplace movement is known as workshifting, flextime, or jobflex and is a growing trend, not just among tech and start up companies but large Fortune 100 companies who are looking to appeal to valuable candidates who need more flexible working hours to accommodate for their more mobile lifestyle.
Worshifting Shows Results
Workshifting can be a challenge for companies as well as managers who are looking to effectively manage and grow their current workforces. But as managers let go of the traditional workplace assumptions and begin to collaborate with cross-functional teams, they are often pleasantly surprised by the benefits of flextime
Companies like Best Buy who implemented ROWE (Results Only Work Environment) saw turnover decrease to 60% with employee productivity increase by 35% when the started practicing flexible time. While 60% turnover may not seem low to some, it is very common for retail company’s turnover to be well above 100%. Employees are not evaluated by the amount of hours worked, but strictly by their performance according to their job description. Utilizing the flexible work arrangement, managers work to collaborate and communicate with their teams using email, smart phones, and other technologies. Attendance at meetings is not mandatory with flextime. Employees have an understanding of what is expected and get their job done whether it means working 2 hours on Tuesday or 10 hours on Saturday. What makes ROWE very different is that the employee is not relegated to punching a clock. They are purely measured on their performance specifics. Meaning that an employee can make the decision to take half the day off on Tuesday to attend her son’s second grade field trip without feeling guilty or having to justify it with her boss. She just does. The trend to offer flexible work environments is growing. Life doesn’t stop and between 8 and 5.
Benefits of Flexible Work Schedules
Companies like Best Buy are one of the first to fully embrace this more flexible new workforce and even federal government agencies are also taking notice. In 2010, the Government Telework Bill was passed allowing federal government workers to work virtually from home as well as a the option of a 4 day work week. Government employees have the option to work from their home office using technologies like VPN with their laptop computers and smart phones. With this workplace shift the government hopes to attract a younger workforce while also saving costs on office electricity as well as travel.
Workshifting offers companies benefits just as much as it does employees. Flexible work schedules allow for truly be accountable for their time, as well as their work. Managers and leaders not only have happier, more productive employees, but the operational savings offered could be just what the doctor ordered.
This blog post is part of the Conversation Culture series focused on engagement and relationships between employees and managers driving workplace as well as organizational productivity.
Photo Credit Hand2Help.