3-2-2 Workweek Scheduling Could Be a Happy Combination

February 2, 2022 | 233 views

3-2-2 Workweek Scheduling Could Be a Happy Combination
3-2-2 Workweek Scheduling Could Be a Happy Combination

Over many years in the business of providing scheduling software options, we’ve seen organizations develop all kinds of business models and workforce schedules. Some clients sought flexibility; others had to modify their plans to accommodate a limited employee base.

With the meteoric rise in work-from-home (WFH) options, employers are discovering that a return to traditional hours is impossible. Employees simply are refusing to conform to pre-pandemic standards. Indeed’s list of work trends suggests that the 8-hour workday in the office (or at home) may become the 3-2-2 workweek.

What does a 3-2-2 schedule entail, and could it work for you? It is a balance between the traditional and WFH structures. It is a hybrid of sorts that puts employees in the office three days a week, at home two days a week, and off two days a week. The days off could be consecutive or not and could be weekdays if workable for your organization. Options could include:

  1. Fully standardized in-office days for the team to work together and standard WFH days. Everyone would be on the same schedule and have the same days off each week. This synchronous schedule creates more control by managers.
  2. Standard in-office days for the team while employees choose how to manage the other four days. This reduces the number of management-controlled days, but it could be ample for many businesses.
  3. One or two days in the office for everyone each week with the remaining days specified (or not) depending on business demands. The advantage would be knowing that all employees are present together for projects, in-person training, or other specific needs.
  4. Fully asynchronous scheduling that gives employees the freedom to choose which days they are in the office without regard to others.

Employee Benefits

Almost everyone who has worked from home covets that option. But those lucky employees also know if you need people in the office altogether. For them, a hybrid 3-2-2 or similar schedule offers multiple benefits while still accommodating the organization’s needs.

Employees with WFH hours are most happy with the flexibility to engage in other activities that make their days better. It could be as simple as starting a load of laundry between meetings or running a mid-day errand when traffic is lighter. Some will use modified hours at home to help with children’s homework or after-school activities, only to return to their occupation later in the day.

But don’t let that freedom scare you; in practice, WFH employees are working longer hours, but they are choosing how to manage those hours to their advantage. Commute costs go down, too, as do other work-related expenses like lunches and attire—the result: a happier employee.

Employer Benefits

HR and department managers often shepherd their employees, herding them as needed to foster communications and project management. It can feel like the fence gate is left open if employees can come and go at will. However, with clarity about goals, managers and business owners can focus on the key hours when in-person attendance is important, if ever.

Logistically, a 3-2-2 schedule could challenge IT departments who must provide remote access for all employees, but productivity does increase while employees work longer hours, all for the same wage. In addition, employers often reduce the overhead expenses associated with maintaining a full-time office location. With a hybrid schedule, some businesses could take advantage of co-work spaces and never worry about leases and utilities.

Every business has differing needs, of course. As we slowly reconsider managing employees’ hours and locations, a hybrid 3-2-2 schedule might be the perfect combination of employer-scheduled hours and employee flexibility.

Author Profile Jon Forknell is the Vice President and General Manager of Atlas Business Solutions, Inc., a software marketing company specializing in employee scheduling software, including ScheduleBase employee scheduling software, and other business software solutions. In the past, Jon has been recognized by the U.S. Small Business Administration as a SBA Young Entrepreneur of the Year. For many years, Atlas Business Solutions has been named one of Software Magazine’s Top 500 Software Companies.

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