flexible working hours

Discover 4 advantages of flexible working hours 

Let’s be clear: a company cannot improve its employees’ performance without integrating the advantages of flexible working hours. But what do we mean when we talk about flexible working hours?

Flexible working hours and their advantages can be interpreted in different ways. However, we can consider it as the employee’s ability to organize their time by themselves, according to the actual requirements of their work and the other aspects of their life outside of work. The idea is to adapt to the circumstances of each task, each person, and each moment instead of forcing employees to stick to a fixed schedule regardless of the workload and without being able to adapt it to the rest of their needs.

The traditional model of a fixed and invariable schedule is based on the premise that all the hours for which the worker is paid will be used, i.e., they can be “filled” with tasks, and there are never any gaps in activity. Therefore, with such a demanding job and, more importantly, so compact and constant, it is not necessary to make variations in the schedule. There is no need to shorten or lengthen it depending on what is needed each day because there will always be something to do. 

In addition, keeping a fixed – and company-imposed – schedule is more manageable at an organizational level. You don’t have to manage a different schedule for each team member. It’s easier to control compliance with the hours, and, in short, you don’t have to consider anything else… not even the advantages of flexible working hours

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However, although we often agree that “there is always something to do” (or we may indulge in procrastination), in reality, not all jobs are like this or are not always like this. For many people, what the job demands each day may vary in intensity, difficulty, quantity, etc., so there is no reason for them to keep a consistent schedule if the task is not. 

It is in this context that the idea of being able to adapt the schedule according to the company’s needs but also according to the needs of the employee begins to gain value, creating the conditions for a proper work-life balance. 

This impacts the quality of the work performed and increases the employee’s motivation and commitment to the company, which is not perceived as rigid. Therefore, when applied correctly, the advantages of flexible working hours also positively affect the work environment in the company

flexible working hours

Different approaches to flexible working hours

True to its name, one of the advantages of flexible working hours is that it can include different modalities: there is no single way of being flexible. 

In general, it is understood that flexibility does not affect the final number of hours available to the employee. Employees can simply distribute them as they see fit at any given time. 

A relatively simple way to do this – and similar to the traditional schedule – is to give the employee the possibility to choose their own time of arrival and exit as long as they comply with the stipulated number of hours, instead of forcing them to follow the “official” schedule set by the company. This way, the employee always has the same schedule, but it is their schedule: they have the possibility of influencing it according to their needs. 

Another, more innovative way is to alter the traditional eight-hour work schedule and work a certain number of hours each day depending on the work needs of that day, although in the end, the hours worked will always be the same. This way, one day, you may work ten hours, another day seven, and another day even none at all, being able to decide on the spot or schedule in advance how many hours of work will be needed for a given task. 

This way of working removes the dreaded “presenteeism” and makes it possible to optimize one of the most critical resources people have, especially at work: time. The premise, in short, is to work only as much time as necessary or, at least, to try to do so, so that such a precious resource as time is not wasted with “losses” that can be avoided. 

Advantages of flexible working hours

1. Avoid wasting time

If there is no task to be performed, there is no need to be “on call”. Only the necessary time is used for each task. Therefore, one of the advantages of flexible working hours is that it allows the company to operate in a way aligned with the Lean methodology.  

2. Increases the amount of available time

Flexibility in schedule offers the possibility of having more time to devote to other aspects of life. This way, work is less likely to be seen as a focus of sucking our vital energy, occupying everything, and boycotting the rest of our activities. Instead, it is easier to consider work as just another part of life, integrated more harmoniously into the set of activities that a person develops in their life. 

3. Boosts employee motivation

When employees perceive that they do not spend more time working than is strictly necessary, they feel more motivated and perceive that the company considers their needs instead of seeing them as a simple labor force. 

4. It helps focus on the task

If applied correctly, flexible working hours encourage concentration by helping neutralize distractions. If we know that we can leave when we are done instead of waiting for a specific time to clock out, we will make an effort to get down to work instead of wandering around. Don’t forget to include improved productivity benefits of flexible working hours.

flexible working hours

Join the global leading solution in mental well-being

Emotional well-being for organizations

Ifeel has designed an emotional well-being program for companies, designed by its team of expert psychologists to help companies to place the care of their employees’ psychological health at the heart of their corporate culture.  

Thanks to this collaboration, organizations can count on the necessary tools to organize the work methodology in the most efficient way possible, also in terms of schedule flexibility

With this service, HR managers can receive personalized, data-driven advice on improving the psychological well-being of the teams in their charge. If you are part of the HR department in your organization, we recommend that you try our program now and see how it could help you.

This program offers all employees a complete mental health care service that they can access in different ways depending on their needs. Those who wish to have access to an online therapy service with one of our psychologists specialized in cases like theirs or interact with one of our professionals to receive emotional support in a more specific circumstance that worries them.

Of course, in our Resources section, you can find different materials that will help you with many of your day-to-day functions as part of the HR department. For example, podcasts, HR guides on various topics (e.g., employee experience or how to design a good HR strategy), or interviews with leading HR executives. In addition, we have a Psychosocial Risk Factors Template, which you can use to comply with the requirements of the Labor Inspectorate.

We hope you found this post on the advantages of flexible working hours useful and interesting. If you would like more information about our emotional well-being program for companies, simply request it, and we will contact your team as soon as possible.

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