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 beneficial for both employees and employers.
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 remote work.
Flextime: When an employee can either temporarily or permanently alter their work schedule and hours. For example, choosing to work 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. instead of 9 a.m.to 5 p.m.
Work from home or work remotely: Work in your own home by communicating with your organization through the internet, email, and 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 outline the most common benefits and downfalls of flexible work arrangements to decide if it makes sense for you.
What are the benefits of flexible work arrangements?
Do you have clients worldwide? Would there be value in supporting remote employees? Offering flexible work arrangements provides you with the opportunity to hire employees worldwide. When employees have mobility in their work method and location, there’s more opportunity for local support to various clients. This strengthens your client relationships by going that extra mile (pun intended).
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 reinvest your earnings into a company-wide trip, increasing employee morale and engagement. Add to your employee's benefits program and leverage your brand to improve recruitment and retention rates in the process.
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 work from the comfort of their homes. 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 obvious investment advantage.
What competitive advantage can your organization offer? What will attract talent? A flexible work arrangement is an attractive benefit for new and current employees. Even in today’s digital age, many businesses are not stepping up to the plate to offer flexible work arrangements. It’s a great way to increase employee engagement. Simply, you’re offering something not all organizations are willing to.
How do flexible work arrangements keep your organization’s engines running? They speedup your systems by creating an environment that best suits your employee’s needs. Empower your employees with the freedom and autonomy they need to perform best. Maybe someone is more of an early bird, or a night owl. Either way, this option lets employees choose the place and time they perform their best.
Want to make a positive difference in the world? An easy way to reduce your organization’s carbon footprint is to provide a commute-free option to work. Provide work-from-home options instead. Simply, fewer cars on the road equal less carbon footprint.
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 while strictly offering flex time, employees can rearrange their hours at work to meet their personal life needs. For example, mothers can now design her morning to make sure her children's needs are met, and get 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.
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