What’s the deal with flexible work arrangements anyways?
Let’s face it, no one enjoys sitting for hours upon hours in bumper to bumper traffic. So why commute to work if you don’t have to? For those of you who haven’t heard of flexible work arrangements, it’s a hot topic nowadays. It’s a growing concept and seemingly benefiting both employees and employers alike.
To dive into the details, flexible work arrangements aren’t your average 9-to-5, Monday to Friday office job. It’s the idea that employees have the freedom to select different variations of how, when, or where they’d like to work. More commonly, we see organizations offer flexible working hours, also known as “flextime,” or to work remotely.
The common types of flexible work
Flextime: When an employee can alter, either temporarily or permanently, their work schedule and hours. For example, choosing to work 7:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. instead of 9-to-5.
Work from home or work remotely: Working at own home by communicating with your organization through the internet, email, and/or phone.
Work part-time: When an employee works fewer hours than a full-time employee. Often in shifts.
Work-sharing: A program designed to avoid layoffs during slow business times. If an employee is eligible for employment insurance (EI), the government supplements their wages for the days they’re not working.
Are you considering any of these options for your organization? Let’s understand the most common benefits and downfalls to flexible work arrangements to determine if it makes sense for your organization.
What are some benefits of offering flexible work arrangements?
More boots on the ground
Do you have clients worldwide? Would there be value in supporting remote employees? Offering flexible work arrangements provide you with the opportunity to hire employees worldwide. With employees having more mobility in their work method and location, there’s the opportunity for local support to various clients. This strengthens your client relationships by going that extra mile (pun intended).
Cha-ching! Reinvest that money
Now, that’s music to my ears! Guess what happens when you’ve instilled a full work from home policy? There’s no need for office space. With cost reduction like that, think of all the business opportunities ahead. For example, you can begin to reinvest your earnings into a company-wide trip, increasing employee morale and engagement. Another great example could be adding to your employee's benefits program to leverage your brand for recruiting and increase employee retention rates.
Then, there’s the fact that a work from home policy is often a luxury. Some employees might even opt-into a salary reduction to obtain that benefit. Let’s say you live far outside the city and it costs you loads of money and time to commute to work. Wouldn’t you opt-in to a pay reduction to eliminate all that? That’s an advantage when it comes to your investments.
Stand out from the pack
What can your organization offer in terms of competitive advantage? What will attract talent? A flexible work arrangement is an attractive benefit for new and current employees. Surprisingly, in today’s digital age, many businesses still aren’t stepping up to the plate to offer flexible work arrangements. It’s a great way to increases employee engagement by offering something not all organizations instil and continue to increase employee retention by deterring employees to look elsewhere to be provided with this.
Become a well-oiled machine
How do flexible work arrangements keep your organization’s engines running? They speed up your systems with an environment that suits your employee’s needs best. Begin empowering your employees with the freedom and autonomy to perform at their best. Maybe someone is more of a morning person or perhaps the latter, a night owl. Either way, this option lets employees choose the place and time they perform their best.
Help repair the world
Want to contribute to making a positive difference in the world? An easy way to reduce your organization’s carbon footprint is by providing a commute-free option to work. A work-from-home or remote work option is an excellent way to reduce an employee’s commute. Fewer cars on the road equal less carbon footprint. As simple as that.
Work and life is a balancing act. Stabilize it!
Ahh, what to do with free time spared from eliminating your commute? Spend more time on the things that matter. Offering flexible work arrangements allows employees to spend more time with their friends and family, providing them with that perfect work-life balance. Even with strictly offering flex time, employees can rearrange their hours at work to meet their personal life needs. For example, a mother can now choose to design her morning to meet her children's needs and getting into the office at a later hour.
Curious about the other benefits of remote work? Check out these 6 unique facts about remote workers your organization should be aware of!
This article was written by Danielle Freedland at Humi, Canada’s leading all-in-one HR, Payroll, and Benefits solution for small to medium-sized businesses. She strives to spread her knowledge in HR through her writing to help organizations spend more time on their greatest asset – their employees.