woman-flexible-workWith the rise of technology, the increase in the need to communicate across different time zones, and the activities in our ever-demanding lives, the traditional work schedule is no longer the norm for many companies. However, this is not necessarily a bad thing.
People are finding that workplace flexibility can have a positive impact on a company. These impacts include:

  • Ability to recruit high-quality individuals – A third of people say that workplace flexibility is the most important factor in considering a job.
  • Improving retention rates – Flexibility reduces stress and allows employees to be happier and healthier while doing their job.
  • Reducing absenteeism – With flexible work schedules, companies found that employees rarely call in sick or not show up for work.

Also, many employees appear to be actually putting more time into their jobs with this flexibility. In fact, 20% of people check their email from home before 7 a.m. Employees are also working more during the weekend and after 5 p.m. during the weekday. On average, a person starts checking their work email at 7:42 a.m., arrives at the office at 8:18 a.m., departs the office at 5:48 p.m. and stops working fully at 7:19 p.m. This means that even though they are not in the office all the times and maybe attending to a few other things, employees are in work mode for 12 hours a day on average.
The rise of technology is fueling this ability to have workplace flexibly by giving employees access to work email, documents, and the ability to communicate 24/7.
What does this all mean for employers and employees?

For Employers

  • Focus on results – Face-time does not always equal productivity. Allow employees flexibility with how they get things done, as long as they get it done.
  • Set firm expectations and deadlines – Make sure that everyone is aware of company policies with regards to workplace flexibility. Hold everyone to the same standards and deadlines they would have if they were in the office from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Trust Your Employees – If deadlines are being met and quality is high, trust your employees to get their job done in a flexible way.
  • Consistently Evaluate Performance – Make sure to always evaluate the results that come with workplace flexibly and make adjustments based on those evaluations of performance.

For Employees

  • Communicate – Make sure that your boss and your coworkers understand your schedule of when and where you will be working. Uncertainty makes people uncomfortable and increases stress for others.
  • Be Consistent – Always make deadlines or better yet, get things done early. This provides proof to your employers that they can trust you to get things done, regardless of where you are and what time you are doing it.
  • Be Self-disciplined – With workplace flexibility, one must be self-disciplined as there are less people checking up on you. You need to hold yourself to a schedule to preform your job at a high standard.
  • Be Present – Just because you have a flexible work schedule does not mean you do not need to be in the office. Face time is important too. It allows for collaboration which is very important in many jobs. Make sure to attend meetings and spend time in the office throughout each week.
  • Be Available – If you choose to have a flexible schedule, then you need to be available beyond the traditional workweek. If you are not willing to put in hours on the weekend or after 5, then a flexible workweek may not be for you. Flexibility goes both ways.

Of course, workplace flexibility does not work for everyone or for every industry. Some people need more structure in their lives to thrive in their position. This is why it is important to find the right fit in a company.
Just remember, with technology increasing, the traditional workweek will never be the same.
Some stats taken from mozy.