Employee Benefits. Retirement Plans. Paid Time Off. We have heard it all. But have you offered your employees the latest incentive sweeping the workforce? Offering an option for Flexible Schedules has become almost more important than offering tons of PTO.
In 2016, Phyllis Moen and Eri L. Kelly conducted a study involving 700 workers in the IT division of a Fortune 500 company. They split the group into two: One group was to remain using the 9-5, M-F schedule, and the other was introduced to STAR: Office. STAR was a program designed to teach the employees to focus on work productivity and work-life balance rather than focusing on how much time they spent in the office. They also learned how to shift their schedule to work from home more and how to communicate effectively from home with other employees.
The results of this year-long study showed that the STAR employees reported increased job satisfaction and reduced stress, reduced psychological distress, and less burnout compared to the 9-5 employees. Happier employees are more productive, are less likely to seek other employment opportunities, have an easier time maintaining physical & mental health. This, in turn, can help employees be more present in their work and result in less turnover, a thriving work culture, and more profits for business.
Here at Aliat, we also practice using a productivity model. Flexible Schedules align with Aliat’s health-centered values by giving employees time for some physical and mental rest. The policy also allows our employees to spend more time with family, arrange outside appointments, and even take a personal day here and there.
The Do’s & Don’ts of Implementing Flexible Schedules
DO: Start slow and see how your employees respond. Consider allowing employees to work from home for just one or two days per week and measure productivity and gather feedback. If employees are responding well, perhaps taking the policy a step further and allow employees to choose their own schedule completely.
DON’T: Get lazy with implementing a policy and forget to create clear guidelines. Telling employees they suddenly don’t need to come into the office anymore can create confusion and promote disengagement. Decide how you would like to start (Can employees choose to stay home from the office completely or are start/end times more flexible?) and go from there.
DO: Let go of any feelings of control over your employees. For Flexible Schedules to be successful, your employees should be motivated self-starters and able to control their schedules enough to get all tasks done. It is easy to feel like you want to always check in on them but allowing employees some free reign can make them more productive.
DON’T: Forget to communicate clearly and effectively with employees. Checking up on what your telecommuting employees are doing multiple times a day might get exhausting for them. A weekly or daily team check-in might be necessary to help employees stay on task and feel connected to the rest of the team. Utilizing tools such as Slack, an instant messaging system for the workspace, will help employees stay on top of communications remotely. Another useful tool is Jell, an online task manager, which allows employees to outline their goals and tasks for the day and is visible to other employees.
At Aliat, we are your ally in business. For help with deciding on and implementing a Flexible Work Policy, and other HR tasks, please contact us at [email protected] or by telephone at (971)-371-4701.