Flexible scheduling has gained considerable momentum over the past few years. This shift is largely due to the high volume of millennials entering the workforce who view things much differently than the baby boomers who are leaving. Does flexible scheduling make sense for your business?
A New Labor Force
There has been a significant shift in terms of age demographics in the labor force. Millennials (people born roughly between 1980 – 1995) now account for a sizable portion of the workforce. The Pew Research Center reports, “There were 53.5 million millennials in the workforce in 2015 even eclipsing Gen Xers at 52.7 million.”
Why is this important?
Millennials think differently than most of their Baby Boomer and Gen X counterparts. Many millennials crave a healthy work-life balance and value flexible scheduling. According to a study from Bentley University, “77 percent of millennials say flexible work hours would make them more productive at work.”
Another study from PwC found:
- 64 percent of millennials would like to occasionally work from home
- 66 of millennials would like to shift their work hours
- 15 percent of male employees say they would give up some of their pay and slow the pace of promotion in exchange for working fewer hours
- 21 percent of female employees say the same
In short, flexible scheduling is something that appeals to most millennials. With Bentley University reporting, “By 2025, millennials will make up as much as 75 percent of the global workforce,” flexible scheduling is at least something to consider. This could serve as a valuable recruiting tool and is likely to reduce employee turnover — something that’s very costly.
This is just the tip of the iceberg. There are several other advantages to offering flexible work schedules. One advantage is lower overhead costs. When employees telecommute even part of the time, it reduces expenses like utilities, office equipment, paper consumption and more.
There also appears to be a correlation between flexible scheduling and lower absenteeism and tardiness. When employees are able to address their personal needs and work around their families, there’s a tendency to show up on time and be more fully engaged. Many employers have even found that their employees use less of their sick days.
Besides this, flexible scheduling often boosts job satisfaction and overall employee morale. When workers are empowered to structure their work schedules in accordance with their personal needs, it’s only natural that they’ll be happier.
Software and Apps
One reason many employers are reluctant to embrace this working arrangement is the fear that communication will break down and output will suffer. Fortunately, there are a myriad of software platforms and apps available that make for seamless telecommuting. They enable you to manage your employees just as effectively as if they were physically in the workplace. Check out Inc.com for tools you can use to manage a remote team.
As Bob Dylan would say, “The times they are a changin’.” The millennial generation has brought with it new ideas on what constitutes a well-run workplace. While flexible scheduling doesn’t make sense for every business, it’s definitely something to consider and can make your company more competitive on many levels.