Across industries, traditional work schedules are being replaced with ones that are more flexible and cater to company and employees’ individual circumstances.
Why? The short answer is, because it works better. There is a natural rhythm to individuals’ personal work habits that don’t always match one another. At the end of the day, more open schedules benefit all parties involved. Not only are employees happier, but they generally produce better work, which directly affects the company’s bottom line.
Some of the greatest reasons for flexible work schedules—whether fewer hours than the traditional full-time 40-hour week, or just more employee control over when work takes place—include:
Mandating that all employees maintain the same schedule throughout the week is a surefire way to lower efficiency. First of all, more needless meetings and time-wasting conversations will undoubtedly take place. It also assumes that everyone works best on the same schedule. However, there are some employees that may be most productive in the early mornings, where others tend to do their best work later in the evening.
Keeping the same old routine day in and day out can quickly lead to burnout. This could either mean that an employee starts become increasingly inefficient in their work, or increasingly dissatisfied with their current position. Either way, it could mean a higher turnover rate, which is both a time and money suck for companies. Many employees also see the 40-hours as a minimum, and feel as though they are not valued unless they continually exceed this number.
Over time, maintaining the same schedule can also dampen idea generation and creative problem-solving abilities. Basically, the brain gets bored with the same old, same old. Your employees constantly need new stimulation and to be inspired by changing environments if they are going to continue to deliver their best work. By allowing your employees some flexibility in their schedules, you can help keep their work product high.
Matched Company Needs
The majority of companies—and particularly those in the construction industry—have work that will ebb and flow over time. There may be some weeks where little work has to be done, and others where it’s all hands on deck. By enforcing a strict 40-hour work week, you’ll be subjecting your employees to long stretches of boredom, and then have other periods of time where you can’t complete the work in front of you. Flexible work hours allows employees to take advantage of the downtime and make up for it during busy periods.
Prioritize Needs Over Hours
Being overly focused on the certain number of hours that your employees are logging should not be your first priority. Instead, consider your employees’ individual needs and allow them to have a say into the schedule that would work best for them. Then, consider whether the work is being done at a high standard. If the answer is yes, then you have found a happy solution for all parties involved.