How to Give Your Employees More Flexibility (and Why You Should)

September 19, 2018 | 1,390 views

How to Give Your Employees More Flexibility (and Why You Should)

How to Give Your Employees More Flexibility (and Why You Should)

According to a recent study in the Harvard Business Review, 96% of employees said they need schedule flexibility, but only 47% said they have it. That means that over half of the workforce is struggling and demanding flexibility, but feeling like their hands are tied by their employers. Women, in particular, reported that their schedule is less flexible than they need it to be.


As an employer, the onus is on you to provide your team members with flexibility in when they work. In doing so, you can promote a healthier sense of work/life balance, which in turn can decrease turnover intentions, according to a recent study. Here’s how you can give your employees the flexibility they crave and don’t know how to ask for.


Put the Schedule In Their Hands

Nothing makes a person feel more empowered with her schedule than the opportunity to manage her shifts, or time in and out of the office. Still, flexible scheduling options come with their share of pros and cons.


While you do need some structure to your schedule to ensure you stay fully staffed, it is possible to give your employees freedom. By putting the schedule in your employee’s hands through an online scheduling app, she is empowered to put in for time off of work, switch shifts without waiting for manager approval, and decide the best schedule to fit her personal preference.


Encourage Vacation

It’s not enough to contractually offer time off anymore. That’s because many employees don’t take advantage of their vacation time and end up burning out as a result. By encouraging vacation and time away from the office, you can promote a healthy sense of work/life balance among your team.


Give Unlimited Time Off

It might sound far-fetched, but yes you can, and in some cases should, offer unlimited time off. Unlimited vacation is one of the most requested employee benefits.


Most employers understandably shy away from offering this level of flexibility out of fear that the employee will abuse the privilege. Still, many teams have had tremendous success with generating loyalty and improving retention rates without sacrificing productivity, just by taking the stress off asking for time off away from the office.


Enable Remote Work Whenever Possible

Flexibility doesn’t have to be limited to time off. It can also mean offering employees the ability to work from home or a coffee shop. Sometimes just giving a team member a change of setting can work wonders for his productivity. You’ll benefit as the employer by getting increased output, and the employee will benefit by feeling free to work from wherever feels most comfortable.


Flexibility is Your Responsibility

Employees look to their employers to provide flexibility in their work schedules. By empowering your team to manage the schedule, encouraging vacation or remote work, and giving your employees more vacation time, you can offer a structured flexibility that benefits both your business and your employees.



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. Atlas Business Solutions was named as one of Software Magazine’s Top 500 Software Companies in 2004 through 2007, and 2010, 2013, 2014, 2016 and 2017.

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