The Advantages & Disadvantages of Flexible Working Hours

Many people now work in jobs where all they need is an internet connection, computer and a mobile phone that may not require them to be present at an office location every day at the traditional time of 9-6. Because of this, in recent times, many companies are allowing employees to work from their desired location and set their own flexing working patterns. This provides the employee with a competitive work environment, leading to a higher retention rate by the employer.

This sounds like a perfect arrangement in theory, but is it a win-win situation in reality?

Advantages

Attracts better quality employees – Flexible working hours is a great benefit to offer valued employees, or to attract the best candidates to fill a critical role in your business.

Boosts productivity – Not all employees are designed to function at their best between the hours of 9 – 6. Some employees left to schedule their work times during their most productive hours can deliver a better quality of work.

A less stressful commute – Employees spend approx. 200 hours a year commuting to and from work. Employees who are not affected by traffic jams or delays with public transport during their commute will avoid being tired, frustrated and in a negative mindset, allowing them to be more productive. Employees spend approx. 200 hours a year commuting to and from work.

Family time – Travelling to an office daily is probably one of the biggest barriers to a happy family life. Most 9-6 employees leave home early and return early evening. This means a reduction of quality time spent with their families.

Job satisfaction – An employee who is allowed to manage their own time will build confidence and increase their sense of responsibility in their role. This boosts the employees feeling of ownership, making their job more rewarding and satisfying.

Disadvantages

Lack of a structured office environment – Some employees thrive in a traditional office environment and may struggle to manage their schedule when left to their own accord, which could lead to underperforming.

No clear distinction between work and home – When operating on flexible working hours, it can be hard to draw the line between when you are working and when you are being a mother, father, caretaker, relaxing etc.

Teamwork – The fact that members of their team and management do not share the same schedule, can hinder goal achievement due to the lack of support and guidance.
Company culture – Building the company’s culture when not all employees work together would be difficult. The company’s values and ethos would not be as present as opposed to when people work together in an office environment.

Taking advantage – There is a chance that an employee will take advantage of their freedom and slack off. Although this would become apparent quite quickly, there is always someone who will abuse their freedom and go unnoticed for a longer period of time.