Workshifting

March 7, 2016

Sometimes the best work gets done outside of the traditional 9-5 work day. Business in the modern era is often transacted across several time zones. Employees are increasingly working whenever and however they can to meet the demands of both local clients and those across multiple continents. It’s not only financially advantageous for employers to implement flex policies at work, but it’s also more beneficial for the employees as they are able to establish better work-life balance.

“What we need are less rigid forms of work flexibility…that make it more likely that employees can maintain equal commitments between work and family,” Tim Hall said in an article with the Harvard Business Review.

According to the iPass Global Mobile Workforce Report, 65 percent of mobile employees noted benefiting more from worktime flexibility, 62 percent said more flex policies increased their productivity, 62 percent said they spent less time commuting time and 55 percent said they were able to maintain a better work-life balance.

Some examples of workplace flex policies include:

Compressing work weeks, i.e. working four 10-hour days, rather than five 8-hour days
“Gliding schedule that requires a specified number of hours of work each day but allows employees to vary the time of their arrival and departure, usually around an established set of mandatory ‘core hours.’”
Job-sharing, which enables two (or more) employees to share the responsibilities assigned to one specific position (arranged usually in a 50:50 split).
Various arrangements for part-time work

Creating a space where employees can log their hours, set their schedule, enter notes, results and data is necessary to implement flex policies successfully. Integrating cloud based systems into your company infrastructure is an effective way to create a virtual space where employees and employers can both connect and access information. Before the emergence of cloud based systems, implementing flex policies was a difficult endeavour, but now the process is easier.

By using secure, cloud-based software, employees don’t need to be physically at work to schedule conference rooms, cheque their timecards, or access databases. If an employee could work more effectively from home early in the morning, avoiding morning rush hour, the company is not only able to make more money utilising the employee’s skill-set before the work day begins, but save the employee wasted hours in traffic.

Flexible work options ultimately benefit everyone. According to a 2014 FlexJobs survey, 20 percent of respondents said they would take a 10 percent pay cut for flexible work options, 22 percent said they would be willing to forgo health benefits and 18 percent would be willing to work more hours. Fifty-two percent of respondents said they looked for flex work options over health and exercise options, while 47 percent of respondents said flex policies would save time and reduce commuting stress.

Given the advantages in adopting flex policies at work, companies should seriously consider giving their employees more options for organising their work day.