Have you ever wondered what would happen if you let your employees set their own schedules? I’m sure for many business owners the idea sets off alarm bells in their heads. But consider for a moment how important it is that all of your employees are in the office from 8:00am-5:00pm Monday through Friday. Could one of your employees get the same job done 7:30am-5:30pm four days a week and 8:00am-12:00pm the other day?
A recent article in Inc. begs that very question. It focuses on research done by three European professors that suggests that employees who have more control over their schedule actually work more than those with set schedules. The research found that “when management doesn’t record hours worked at all, letting employees set their own start and finish times and control their time off, workers put in an additional 7.4 hours a week above and beyond what they’re obligated to do.” This is at least in part due to the fact that employees are more likely to feel motivated to continue working until their job is complete, rather than when their shift is over, if their time is not being monitored.
While it may seem counterintuitive and while you may be thinking “that would never work with my employees,” take a moment to consider it. Do you have good employees who might be even better if they had more flexibility in their scheduling?
Having more flexible scheduling options for employees won’t just get them to put in more time, it will also help attract and retain top talent. According to the 2015 Workplace Flexibility Study by Workplace Trends 75% of employees (and 74% of those unemployed) ranked workplace flexibility as their top benefit. And on top of that, employers who offer workplace flexibility see additional benefits as well. “The top benefits organizations saw in their work flex programs were improved employee satisfaction (87%), increased productivity (71%), and that they retained current talent (65%). 69% use their programs as a recruiting tool and 54% said that their programs positively impacted their recruiting.”
This idea of workplace flexibility is great, but it will only work if you have the company culture to back it up. Simply telling employees to make their own schedule is likely not enough. You must first build a culture of accountability where you set appropriate expectations and then allow employees to demonstrate if they are able to meet those. As the article states, you “treat your employees like adults.”
Let us know what you think. Have you seen this work for your company? Share with us on Twitter using the #APlusInsights.