Did you know that a whooping 96% of white-collar professionals – basically all of those poor souls stuck in an office all day – say they would benefit from a flexible workday? The sad truth is, only 47% of them actually have access to it. Considering the many business benefits associated with flexible working hours: what’s stopping you, dear business owners? Read on and get ready to flex time your business.
The Rewards of a Flexible Workplace
Having full flexibility over your working day is very rewarding. In fact, Swiss scientists have been researching how flexibility can improve motivation, health and work-life-balance, even if it comes with working more hours over a prolonged period of time. But, and this is the big caveat, only if flexibility comes with real autonomy. If you are running a business, this might come as a surprise to you. But maybe not. Think about it: as a small business owner, you probably are familiar with the feeling of being your own boss (even if you are not), as opposed to working for someone else. That feeling of being responsible your own man, woman or whatever it is you identify as, might be crushing at times, but is mostly very rewarding.
Autonomy, Flexibility and Intrinsic Motivation
Chances are very high that you, as a business owner, are putting more hours in than you would as an employee. Because you are driven; somewhere, deep inside of you, you want to. you want to finish your tasks, bring your business to success: You are what psychologists call ‘intrinsically motivated’, fully engaged in your work because it naturally satisfies you. As soon as this feeling of autonomy goes away, making you feel trapped between the demands of others, it is more likely that the stress will get to you. The same goes for your team: Statistics prove that employers who entrust their employees with autonomy over their working hours get rewarded with a very loyal, efficient and hard-working staff.
How Flexible Hours Empower Teams
The fine people at Werk recently surveyed 1,583 white-collar professionals representative of the U.S. workforce. They found that the number of those demanding a flexible workplace is surprisingly consistent, no matter their age, gender or social status: men or women, Millennials or GenXers, parents and non-parents, 95 to 97% say they need more flexibility. The reasons vary from caregiving duties over health problems requiring regular therapies or a long commute to managing a healthy work-life-balance. A recent study conducted in Europe finds a similar gap between actual and preferred working time, stating that it widens “precisely during the period when their working time peaks and where their potential childcare responsibilities are the greatest“. A flexible workday, then, enables people to take care of their loved ones, and themselves. It empowers them to lead the lives they want to – which in turn leads to a sustainably healthy and efficient teamworker for your business.
What’s stopping you from going flexible?
Everyone benefits from flexibility at the workplace. It enables you, your team and maybe even future generations. So, instead of asking why you need flexible work models, you should ask yourself: What’s stopping you from adopting flexibility? Is it fear of losing control over your workforce? If you truly think your employees will spend their working time watching TV unless you watch over them, you might want to rethink your HR strategy. Or are you afraid you’ll never get them into one room again? There are many different models of flexibility, some of which employ a “core-time” where working at the office it mandatory. Identify your needs and worries, talk things through with your team, and find the model that best suits you and your business.
The key is to find the sweet spot where everybody feels enabled and responsible – and you, the business owner, feel comfortably in control. We are here to help you through the hard parts of managing a flextime business; like organizing an ad-hoc-meeting, keeping track of the hours worked or simply knowing who is doing what and when. Give us a try!