You enter the office and notice that most desks are empty, save for a small cohort of employees in the far corner. Sixty years ago, a scene like this would probably be considered a prelude to a company’s demise. Today, however, flexible working schedules are commonplace.
It’s indicative of progress and it celebrates individualism and work-life balance.
This flexibility comes in many shapes and forms. Customer-centered roles are constrained but for knowledge workers the possibilities are nearly endless.
In this guide we’ll assess flexitime and remote work schedules to see why alternate ways of working are starting to push the traditional 9-to-5 towards extinction, what potential issues could arise as a result, and how a time tracking app or remote working monitoring software can help you deal with all of it.
Benefits of Flexible Work Schedules Beyond Work-Life Balance
It’s overstated that having a flexible work environment promotes healthy work-life balance. Logic dictates that removing the work commute and working from a comfortable home environment is more conducive to a balanced life.
Employees can take rest when they need to, head to the gym during breaks, and eat lunch when they please.
So, aside from the obvious, what else do flexible work schedules have to offer?
Here are three clear benefits:
1. Greater Job Satisfaction
A flexible work schedule can improve employees’ job satisfaction and motivation at work. And it shows you care about their wellbeing. Which brings us to company image. If you have a reputation of an employer who cares about their employees’ life-work balance, more people are going to want to work for you and more people will want to work with you too. And flexible working hours go a long way in reinforcing this value.
2. Better Employee Retention
And lastly, as a consequence of all this, there’s the increased employee retention. Employee turnover is an expensive phenomenon, so having workers who want to stay is going to make your life easier. And considering the fact that flexibility is a top priority for 92% of millennials, it seems like you don’t have that much of a choice anyway.
3. Increased Focus
While it may seem as if letting employees work from home rather than in the office, you would be sacrificing productivity as they don’t have the tools they need to focus and succeed. Yet, often, the opposite is true.
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, many employees found that they were able to reach all-new productivity heights while working from home. By controlling their own schedules, many employees find that they’re able to lean into their most productive hours and get more done.
One Tiny Problem and One Simple Solution
Now, there’s one obvious issue with flextime - if everyone comes at different times, how can you make sure that they’re all working as much as you’re paying them to?
Are your employees using flexible working hours as a perfect cover-up for stealing time or is work actually getting done?
Getting to the bottom of this would require coming in when the first employee does and leaving with the last one. Which comes down to a 13-hour shift.
Or, you know, you could implement a remote working monitoring software solution like Insightful and let the software do all the dirty work. All you have to do is take a quick look at the reports every once in a while to make sure that everything is as it should be.
Why Time Tracker is a Perfect Sidekick
There are several ways you can use time tracking tools to maintain high productivity levels with flexible work schedules, but first you need to build trust and accountability.
To do that, make sure you:
- Set clear expectations from day one
- Adopt a results-oriented approach factoring in KPIs and deliverables instead of simply hours spent
- Encourage open communication between managers and employees
Now let’s take a look at some of the best ways you can make sure that time tracking supports flexible work schedules in your teams.
If your employment policy requires workers to be in the office for 8 hours every day or 40 hours a week, then you need an accurate way to track their attendance. Although there are many different attendance tracking solutions, a time tracking app for employees is probably the most reliable and low-maintenance option out there. It logs every clock-in and clock-out and calculates office time while also taking productivity into consideration.
You could also use your time tracking app for work delegation. You can break up projects into tasks and allocate each task to an appropriate employee. Task time tracking software gives you a great overview of who’s doing what. This helps with collaboration even if employees are not in the office at the same time.
Track Tasks and Projects
And finally, to answer the question of whether or not employees are actually doing their jobs, you can keep track of tasks and projects that they’re working on and see how much time they spend on these. As an added bonus, employee time logging software keeps a record of apps and websites that employees are using so you’ll be able to know whether your workers are going straight to YouTube as soon as you leave the office.
Changing Times and How to Adapt
Times have changed and so have our working habits and expectations. As an employer, you need to answer the rising demand for flexibility in the job market. Using employee time tracking tools can help you in this transition and beyond. Now that millennials are becoming bosses, the death of a 9-to-5 job has never been closer. As an alternative, flexible working hours are here to stay and you better be prepared.