What Schedule Flexibility Looks Like in 2022

January 26, 2022 | 217 views

What Schedule Flexibility Looks Like in 2022
What Schedule Flexibility Looks Like in 2022

Wouldn’t it be great to have set shifts for every employee so that your operation remains constant and unchanging? No one would ever be sick or take a vacation day. Ever. Obviously, this idea isn’t realistic. Instead, more than ever, employee scheduling options are at the forefront of management tasks and employee demands. 2022 will be no different as the new year promises still greater demand for scheduling flexibility.

Employee retention is part of the focus in a strong labor market. Managers often must offer more than a choice of working days or a part-time position. While work-life balance remains in favor, employees have more choices in a job-rich market. Our ability to adopt flexible shifts and accommodate our staff will determine our ability to keep valuable employees.

We’ve written before about different types of standardized schedules. Many are compressed schedules that slightly modify a traditional workweek. Options include offering alternate 3-day weekends in a 9-day-80-hour schedule or compressing a 40-hour week into only four days. Of course, we know that not every work schedule suits your business model.

We are seeing more clients with needs for stable staffing and increased flexibility. With over 75% of employees looking for flexible schedules, this year might be the time to consider scheduling options that make your business more attractive to the growing ranks of choosier employees:

  1. Flextime allows employees to have more control over their start and end times. It could change daily, starting earlier one day or later another. Usually, this type of flexibility accommodates employees who have other consistent commitments like regular health treatments or childcare.
  2. Unlimited PTO is becoming commonplace. Good employees who work onsite often never use as much time off as this option might imply. And you don’t have to accrue vacation liability on your balance sheet if you offer it. Employees say they want it, but it can be a good choice for your business, too.
  3. Part-time or job-sharing can efficiently fill particular shifts and skills using more than one employee. With two sets of eyes (or more) responsible for certain tasks, they get more attention and focus than one person can provide.
  4. Sabbaticals can keep employees with you for longer. Even if unpaid, a sabbatical offers a guaranteed, long-term leave with the promise of a job when the employee returns. Allowing two months every five years could mean the difference in retaining valuable employees. It will need parameters and policies, but it would be a competitive benefits offering.
  5. Hybrid schedules. Work-from-home options don’t suit most small retail locations, but some positions include tasks that staff could complete from home. An employee who works with customers but also does supply orders, for example, might be pleased to complete the orders from home one day a week. It is a good time to rethink employee roles and options for home-based work.

Think outside the traditional box of employee scheduling. The new year’s style of flexibility will be a recruiting tool and a retention tool. Your small business will enjoy the benefits of lower turnover and its associated costs. And your happier employees will add to your business success.

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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