(This is a contributed post)
Flexible working hours used to be something that only freelancers and self-employed people enjoyed, but now they are becoming more commonplace throughout the business world. Instead of pinning employees down to specific hours, business owners are letting them choose their own schedule and assessing their effectiveness based on the amount of work they do rather than the number of hours they spend in the office. In fact, many people are now working from home instead of coming into the office, especially at the moment with the pandemic going on.
If your business hasn’t already adopted flexible working practices, you are falling behind because it’s a change that is here to stay. These are some of the ways that flexibility can improve productivity in your business.
A good leader recognizes that every employee is different and they each have their own way of working. Some people work best when they get up at 6am and work through until the afternoon. Other people can’t focus in the mornings and prefer to work later in the day. Some employees need complete silence while others prefer a bit of background music while working. Effective business leaders like Wayne Blazejczyk ASIC recognize this and work hard to create a work culture that allows employees to work in the way that fits their skill set and expertise. If you try to put everybody in an office and make them work in exactly the same way, you are bound to have some employees that struggle to stay productive.
If you think that more hours worked equals higher productivity, you are sorely mistaken. In fact, when people are overworked and don’t have enough downtime, they suffer from stress and that makes them a lot less productive. They are also at risk of developing serious mental health conditions if their stress is not managed properly. When you allow people to work flexibly, you help them improve their work-life balance in a big way. People are no longer trying to juggle all of their other responsibilities with their work duties and they don’t have that feeling that there aren’t enough hours in the day. When people have the flexibility to strike a balance between their work and personal lives, they will be more focused and productive.
If you tell people that they have to be in the office for eight hours a day, they will make their work take eight hours. If they finish everything in the morning and then sit there doing nothing all afternoon, they will be accused of slacking off. This is why a lot of people drag their work out and spend eight hours doing something that they could have finished in six. This underlying procrastination is slowly killing productivity in your business but when you allow people to be flexible, you eliminate this problem. They will finish work as quickly as they can, so they can take the rest of the day to do other things, which means that everybody is ultimately more productive.
Flexible working hours have been shown to boost productivity, so what is stopping your business from making the change?