Advantages of workplace flexibility, and how to implement it

Giving employees certain autonomy can be beneficial to both employer and employee. A study has concluded that companies can experience other benefits from focusing on workplace flexibility:

• 61% of respondents said that flexibility led to an increase in profits
• 83% saw an improvement in productivity from employees
• 58% believed that flexibility improved the company's reputation
• 61% of companies in the United States saw an increase in teamwork
• 77% of American companies saw an improvement in employee morale

Implementing Flexibility-related policies for your staff

1. Types of Policies: There are many ways to interpret what being flexible means. Make sure to define the type of flexible working arrangements that the company wishes to implement. Here are some policies that companies may wish to implement:
- Flextime: Giving employees the freedom to create their own workdays and weeks, including when, where, and how long one works. This system gives employees plenty of autonomy, and some companies may wish to include core hours that they expect their employees to work in.
- Compressed Workweeks: Employees can opt to have a shorter workweek at the expense of working longer hours per day. Instead of working eight hours a day, five days a week, an employee with a compressed work schedule may work for ten hours a day, four days a week. This way, the employee still works for forty hours a week, but has an extra day off.
- Job Sharing: Two part-time employees share the work that would normally be done by one full-time employee. This method is good for people that are qualified for a particular position at a company, but prefer to be part-time due to the flexibility that it provides.
- Telecommuting: Also known as remote work, which involves an arrangement where an employee spends some, or even all of his or her time, working from home or at another location that is not the main office of the company. This is more common in the United States and Europe than in other areas.

2. Encourage Breaks
- Breaks are a key component in implementing flexibility in a workplace. Employees can rest, recharge, and let loose with their coworkers during a stressful day. Allowing breaks during work hours is good for keeping morale high, and stress levels low. Companies may also opt to give employees longer lunch hours so employees can take care of personal matters in the middle of the day. This will give employees a better sense of work-life balance, and allows them to be more autonomous with their time.

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