The entire business world has turned to remote working in the pandemic as there is no better way to stay afloat. A lot of businesses have found themselves in unfamiliar territory as this was the very first time they had employees working from home.
Along with working being done remotely, learning too is being imparted remotely. Thankfully, powerful tools like LMS have made the delivery and management of online courses very convenient. Moreover, options like Cornerstone LMS provide extra flexibility with their mobile applications.
Flexible work schedules mean employees can work from anywhere and not just their home. It also means they have more power to decide when they want to work during the day. Some companies have part-time schedules also, but we won’t be covering that in this article.
Most businesses have come to realise that the flexibility to work from home does have an upside. But there are certain downsides too that have come to light. With this article, we will explore the pros and cons of flexible work schedules.
PROS OF A FLEXIBLE WORK SCHEDULE:
A major pro that makes employees feel empowered is the freedom to take their own calls. Employees can function independently and decide when they want to work. With this flexibility, employees can plan their day in a way that helps them achieve more in less time. This boosts employee satisfaction and increases retention rates.
The biggest benefit of flexible working schedules is that employees don’t have to waste time travelling to and fro work. They can pick a place of their choice that helps them focus, even if it is their couch, and start working as early in the day as they want without having to take the effort to get ready and travel.
Flexible work schedules gives employees more power over their time and allows them to determine how they want to spend their day. This allows them to create a schedule where they can spend quality time with their family and friends, and find time to invest in their hobbies as well. This increases happiness levels and helps them stay engaged.
Everyone has certain high productivity time slots where their concentration levels are high. These hours could be late in the night or early in the morning, or between the normal working hours. With flexible work schedules, employees can leverage their most productive hours for the most important tasks. This allows them to perform more efficiently in less time.
CONS OF A FLEXIBLE WORK SCHEDULE:
Working in isolation often leads to reduced levels of engagement in employees. Moreover, human beings are social animals and lack of social interaction can make them feel lonely.
This can be tackled by managers by having regular one-on-one virtual meetings with the remote employees. Organizing group video conferences once/twice a month to allow employees to engage in non-work related conversations also enhances engagement levels.
Since employees have the autonomy to decide when they work, managers may feel like they can call employees at any time. The vice versa is also true and can lead to managers feeling employees do not respect their boundaries.
To avoid this, managers need to ensure employees know the time period when they can reach out to them via call and clarify the mode of communication post that period. This helps maintain clear boundaries without affecting work.
As evident from the above points, flexible work schedules may not work for everyone. But by keeping in mind the downfalls and taking the right steps to avoid them, it is possible to make it work and get productive results.