The modern work environment looks nothing like it did a couple of decades ago. The personal computer revolutionized productivity, the internet infinitely expanded connectivity and mobile technology and cloud computing are now obliterating geographic limitations. There are fewer boundaries between people and brands than ever before, making it easy for qualified professionals to craft a non-traditional employment structure. In many industries there’s just no reason to be stuck in the office forty to fifty hours a week, not when you can get everything done in a given week with a solid internet connection, a laptop computer and a video conferencing app. But perhaps you are wary of change, and only see the possible problems with changing things up. Well, here’s a look at some of the many benefits of flexible work schedules for employees, to hopefully change your mind.
First of all, there’s a huge financial upside for employees who can work remotely. It removes a lot of the regular expenses that can bust your monthly budget. If you can cut out a few of your commutes each week you’ll save money on gas, tolls, parking and wear and tear on your automobile. You might even be able to reduce your car insurance policy, since you’ll drive far fewer hours during the year. Working from home will save you on food and beverages as well. Imagine the money you spend on those couple cups of coffee out at Starbucks each day, not to mention the expensive lunches you have to buy. Making all of that stuff at home will be much cheaper, and healthier as well.
Speaking of health, there’s a huge benefit to an employee’s overall well-being with a flexible schedule. Unless you have a meeting requiring you to get up and out of the house early, you’ll be able to take that commuting time and make sure you get enough sleep. Imagine regularly enjoying eight hours of sleep a night instead of the five or six you get now, thanks to the long commute and stress of the work day. On top of extra sleep, you’ll also be able to take breaks when you need them. Most employees won’t grab five minutes away from their computers, even though it’s crucial for avoiding eye strain and carpal tunnel syndrome. You don’t want to be looked at as a slacker, even if you’re working hard the rest of the time. Taking those breaks during the day will help improve your focus, and avoid the physical maladies that come from too much time at your desk.
When an employee embarks on a flexible work schedule, it also puts the time they commit to work entirely in their hands. What you’ll find is you naturally get more done in a smaller amount of time. No matter how much you enjoy your job, there will be times you stretch projects out so the work day passes faster. It has been shown that employees will get those same tasks done in far less time, because their time is their own. Finish a job in three hours instead of six, and you can use that extra time for whatever you want. But that won’t necessarily mean slacking off. The flexible schedule employee will want to prove the strategy is sound, so he’ll just get more done. That’s good news for the company, and for the employee’s career.
Finally, you’ll be able to focus on your work without any of the office dramas that can destroy relationships and derail productivity. Just try it out for a week or two. Suddenly that annoying co-worker isn’t there to bother you, and your beef with them disappears. The distractions fall away, and the work is all that matters. You might find that you actually love your job, it’s just that you had problems with some of the personalities in the office. Without those frustrations you, your co-workers and senior management will be much happier.