How Flexible Scheduling Supports Employee Wellbeing

September 20, 2017

Flexibility Enhances Core Areas of Wellbeing

For many years, Gallup has researched what it takes for people to feel contentment and believe their lives are rewarding. These five universal elements of wellbeing are shared by all people:

  1. Career Wellbeing: to have a purpose and enjoy what you do for work
  2. Social Wellbeing: to be loved and have relationships with others
  3. Financial Wellbeing: to be able to manage money effectively
  4. Physical Wellbeing: to feel physically well and able to do things
  5. Community Wellbeing: to be engaged with the local area or groups

Most employers already make significant contributions to the wellbeing of their employees, by providing the security of a salary and other valuable benefits. Today many are adopting flexible scheduling to help employees achieve better work-life integration and maximize wellbeing.

Flexibility Increases Employee Engagement and Productivity

Some employees are morning people; some are night owls. Some live alone; others juggle career and children. It makes sense that the same work schedule isn’t right for everyone.

Cornell University found that employers who provided flexibility enjoyed 1/3 less employee turnover and grew four times faster than other firms. According to Forbes, multiple studies of flexible scheduling have revealed significant benefits for employers. Employees with flexible schedules:

  • Accomplish more work
  • Take fewer sick days
  • Work longer hours
  • Report more happiness in their work

Higher productivity and happiness contribute to stronger employee engagement. Gallup reports that employees who are both engaged and report high wellbeing are 59% less likely to look for a new job over the next year.

Flexible Scheduling Enhances Health

It is easy to understand why flexible scheduling would be appealing to employees, but studies demonstrate it is actually good for both their physical and mental health. Gallup research shows that engaged employees with high wellbeing miss 70% fewer workdays because of poor health over the course of a year.

The University of Minnesota researched employee health before and after Best Buy’s headquarters introduced a Results-Only Work Environment. Employees were given the freedom to define their own schedules, so long as work objectives continued to be met. With flexible schedules, employees:

  • Slept an extra hour on work nights
  • Felt less obligated to work when sick
  • Were more likely to visit a doctor when needed
  • Reported higher energy levels
  • Reduced emotional exhaustion

Forbes reported another recent study at a Fortune 500 company which found that employees with flexible schedules “were both happier at work and less prone to burnout and psychological stress” than colleagues who worked the traditional 9-to-5.

Strengthens Social and Community Ties

In a report by the Radcliffe Public Policy Center, a large majority of both men (83%) and women (79%) ages 21 to 39 ranked “having a work schedule that allows for time with family” as very important. And according to Pew Research, more than one-third of working parents believe they’re not spending enough time with their kids.

Flexible scheduling is a shift by employers away from trying to control the minute-to-minute of employee work lives, toward trusting them to accomplish results and to put in the time necessary to do their jobs well. It frees employees from the guilt and anxiety of feeling like they are either letting down their employer or someone else. Whether an employee wants to attend a child’s school play or volunteer at the local soup kitchen, flexible scheduling empowers them to strengthen their family and community bonds, without sacrificing job performance or security.

Support Flexible Scheduling with Scheduling Software

When employees work flexible schedules, time and attendance monitoring becomes even more essential. AsureForce® Time & Labor Management helps companies track employee time through the cloud, Web browsers, and mobile devices. It streamlines staff scheduling, measures actual hours worked and helps employers monitor trends and make smart decisions.