We have all dreamed at one point or another about flexible work and work from home schedules. The cold rainy days bring on thoughts of working in sweats from the couch. No more wasting time on hygiene, the commute, and packing a healthy lunch. No more missing a dental appointment because you can’t take the time off. Gone are the days of listening to the awful music your co-worker is playing.
Now, fast forward to 2019 where many organizations are implementing the “flexible work and work from home plans” – because a happy employee is a productive employee and happy employees will stick around.
But what exactly is a flex work schedule?
The U.S. Department of Labor definition is: A flexible work schedule is an alternative to the traditional 9 to 5, 40-hour work week. It allows employees to vary their arrival and/or departure times. Under some policies, employees must work a prescribed number of hours a pay period and be present during a daily “core time.”
Flexible schedules and working from home…why we love ’em
- Allows the flexibility to meet family, personal, and other needs when necessary. This is beneficial if you have a sick child, parent or simply want to get a good workout in at lunch without rushing.
- Allows the employee more time to work and less time traveling to and from. Saves on fuel costs and gives your car a break from wear and tear. All good things to brag about as an employer.
- Allows everyone to work when they are in their element. If you are a morning person, sitting at your desk at 5:30 am can be very productive while 2:00 pm can be detrimental to your workload. On the flip side, we all know those that are pushing out emails at 1:00 am. Pick your poison. Either way works when you are blessed with a flexible schedule. This piece can be priceless, especially if you work in the technology or creative field. Just get your work done.
- Listen while you work. Whether it’s silence or AC/DC, you can choose then say goodbye to being at mercy of your co-workers’ horrible tastes in music. Saves money on the noise canceling headsets.
Flex schedules and why they can be challenging
- That damn refrigerator will not stop calling my name. Distractions and more distractions. You need superior focusing skills to get through the day. But if you are working in your element, this should not be a problem.
- Where did all of my friends go? I know I said you were weird, but now I miss you. The loneliness of not having co-workers to chat with, bounce ideas around with, and share a lunch with can sometimes be an adjustment. And then sometimes not so much. But it is something to add to the challenging items list.
- Work and home are blending together. Structure is key and will be necessary for success.
- Managing a team and working with clients on a daily basis can be challenging when working from home. Not all can make this journey happen. But if you love what you do, you will love where you are working. Find a way and make it happen.
Overall, the advantages generally outweigh the disadvantages when it comes to implementing the flexible and work from home schedules. It also boils down to trusting your employees to get the work done and setting daily goals as to not get sidetracked with household chores. We know these types of arrangements are not for everyone and every business, but perhaps implementing one or two flex and work from home days could benefit your office culture.
We at Group 2 understand first hand the benefits of having company flexibility. We work as a team to meet the needs and expectations of our clients and find that where we plant our computers or what part of the day we work does not negatively affect our productivity. It’s a proven practice in our industry and doesn’t create any barriers with our client workload.