Flexible work arrangement is here to stay – but is it the next big thing? Well, it depends. Below, we’ll define what flexible work arrangement is, along with the pros and cons of the idea.
What is Flexible Work Arrangement?
Everyone knows the 9-to-5 work schedule. Employees show up at 9AM, work, have lunch, work, and then finally go home at 5PM. The 9-to-5 work schedule is traditional, and a flexible work arrangement is the opposite.
A flexible work arrangement is an alternative arrangement in which employees choose a work schedule to meet their personal or family needs. The employee chooses when they start working, where they work, and when they stop working too.
Con: Blurry Work-Life Boundaries
Flexibility means that your employees will all be working at different hours. This leads to 2 different problems:
1) Procrastination and poor time management can deteriorate the line between work and life. Employees might start cramming work in the middle of the night or working overtime. This doesn’t leave your employees with downtime dedicated to relaxation.
2) You and your colleagues won’t have an established appropriate and inappropriate time to contact one another. Downtime may quickly turn right back into work time if a colleague messages unexpectedly.
Pro: Reduces Employee Stress
According to the American Institute of Stress, 83% of US workers suffer from stress, with 25% saying their job is the number 1 stressor in their lives. Traditional work schedules have large chunks of working time and little leeway – creating a breeding ground for office stress and burnout. In a flexible work arrangement, employees have the option to take care of non-work problems at their disgression.
Con: Communication Can Take Longer
In a traditional work setting, you walk into another department and ask for something. Easy-peasy. This just isn’t the case when things turn flexible. Some employees will be working at home while others are at the office. Some employees might be working, while others are investing in their personal lives.
Communication is bound to be delayed. With delayed communication, the entire workflow of the office will become weaker and less productive.
Pro: Attract Top Talent
The best way to attract top talent is to make your company a place that people want to work at. Nothing beats accommodating employees and being flexible. Offering a flexible work arrangement helps with recruitment because you’re building a reputation in the market. I mean, who doesn’t want to work under an understanding and caring boss?