Pros and Cons of Flexible Work Hours

Should you consider giving your employees more control over their schedules?

1/7/2019 9:00:00 AM
Pros and Cons of Flexible Work HoursIf you work in an office environment, you’re probably following the traditional 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. schedule. However, sometimes that span of time doesn’t suit every employee’s strengths. There are multiple reasons you should consider offering flexible work hours, in which your team members can pick the time to work that is best for them. Before you make the jump, consider these pros and cons.

Pro: Better work life balance

One of the biggest benefits of flexible work hours is the ability you give your team to plan their work lives around their personal lives. Patriot Software, which creates payroll tools for small businesses, points out that allowing employees to create their own schedule gives parents more time with their children, as oftentimes school starts and ends much earlier than office hours. Allowing the parents on your staff to arrive earlier and leave earlier to pick up their children will not only help with family dynamics, but it can also save your employees money on after-school child care, which they will appreciate.

If you choose to allow flexible work hours that change on select days, your employees will also appreciate the ability to take care of certain tasks without using time off. For example, if a member of your staff has a home repair appointment scheduled, they can rearrange their work schedule to accommodate it and reserve vacation time for things that matter to them.

Con: Availability issues

Letting your staff set their own hours sounds like a great idea until you have to schedule a meeting and there is limited time when everyone is in the office together. Lainie Petersen of the Houston Chronicle points out that having your staff spread out also makes collaboration on projects difficult if the partners’ hours don’t properly align. One solution to this issue is to require all employees to be in the office during a certain time span or on select days to facilitate group work and give time for meetings.

Pro: Increased morale

According to Susan M. Healthfield of The Balance Careers, if your employees have more control over their work schedule, they tend to have higher morale and lower turnover. Besides the fact that your staff will feel like you trust them more, many of them will work when it’s best for their productivity. That means night owls won’t arrive groggy and sleepy and morning people can come in as soon as they bound out of bed. While it won’t entirely change everyone’s attitudes about work, being able to get things done when they feel their best will go a long way toward giving them a sunnier outlook.

Con: Lots of organization

When you let staff work from home, it takes a lot of preparation leading up to the change and as the new policy takes place. A strict policy about expectations for flex time or hours spent outside of the office is imperative to make sure your staff knows what they need to do and how they will be held accountable. After you implement flex time, it’s important that you keep track of everyone’s hours to make sure they are still working as long as they should.

Flexible work hours might not be possible in every industry, especially if it’s retail or food service. But if you are able to give your employees more freedom, consider making the leap for lower turnover and happier staff.