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How Might Offering Flexible Schedules Actually Increase Productivity & Employee Retention Rates?

by Lisa McQuerrey

Many working people strive to create an equitable work-life balance. Flexible schedules often allow them to do this by compressing work weeks, promoting job sharing, part-time work and telecommuting, as well as work-from-home options. Providing employees with flexible schedules can actually increase their productivity, improve morale and make them feel a greater sense of loyalty toward the company.

Productivity

Workers who telecommute or work at home, even on a part-time basis, are often more focused on their work because they aren't subject to typical daily office interruptions. Being able to concentrate and work in a familiar and comfortable environment can improve the quality and quantity of their work output. Having a flexible schedule can also help lower stress levels, which can improve productivity.

Self Direction

Flexible scheduling, particularly self-supervising options like working from home or setting individual work hours, allow high-achieving and self-directed staffers the opportunity to control the pace of their work. This is often a more effective work environment than one in which a supervisor micromanages activity or where staffers are subject to getting approval for every minor business decision.

Retention

The ability to have a flexible schedule is often as valuable to an employee as salary, benefits and perks. As such, the freedom that comes with the ability to have some control over work hours is attractive to many staffers. This can reduce turnover because employees develop a greater sense of job satisfaction and are less likely to leave.

Recruitment

Recruiting the right staffers is often as important to retention as the work environment and the pay scale. A company that offers a flexible work schedule is likely to attract a variety of applicants, including well-trained and experienced professionals who are looking for greater levels of flexibility.

Scheduling Exceptions

Flexible scheduling is not necessarily a productive option for all positions. For example, a receptionist who greets customers as they enter the business is expected to be physically present during regular office hours. In this instance, flex scheduling would not be prudent or lead to increased productivity, and in fact, could decrease service levels.

Personality Exceptions

Staffers with poor time management skills, or those who need oversight and direction, will not necessarily perform well on a flexible schedule. This is especially true for telecommuters, who need a self-starting attitude as a prerequisite.

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