How to Implement Flex Schedules that Work (Part 1)

According to studies and research highlighted by FlexJobs, there’s been a 115% increase in telecommuting for work over the past decade, and nearly half of the U.S. workforce works remotely already. And there are plenty of reasons why.
Workers with flexible schedules:

  • Are more productive and often end up working more hours, and
  • Take fewer sick days off and are healthier mentally, emotionally, and physically.

In addition:

  • Eighty-seven percent of professionals think having a flexible job would lower their stress, and 97% say a job with flexibility would have a positive impact on their overall quality of life.
  • Eighty-nine percent of companies report better retention simply by offering flexible work options.
  • Millennials (who already make up the largest portion of the workforce) are more likely to stay long term with organizations that offer flexible schedules.1
  • Seniors over the age of 65 who are still employed are also actively seeking out and desire flexible schedules.1

Essentially, work flexibility is a strategic business imperative. And here’s how to effectively implement flex schedules for your employees, step-by-step.

Step 1. Assess Where Your Organization Is Currently

Before designing and implementing flexible schedules across your organization, first consider the current needs and challenges of your individual organization. What strategic business objectives and goals can you achieve with flex schedules—higher productivity or retention rates, more engaged employees, lower operational costs for office buildings, or something else? It’s important to remember that flex schedules should not be considered an offering of charity and aren’t doled out because of an employee’s sense of entitlement. Flexible schedule options should be designed and implemented to help your organization in a fundamental way that contributes to its success.

Step 2. Build a Business Case, and Gain Executive Buy-In

Your desire to implement flexible schedules won’t become a reality if you don’t have executive buy-in and if leadership across your organization isn’t on board. And to gain it, you’ll need to build a solid business case for why your organization needs to offer flexible schedules.
Once you’ve built your business case, you should have a solid business-oriented foundation for why your organization needs flexible schedules. Next, show leadership the numbers and research, your plan for launching flex schedules, and how you’ll continually evaluate them to make sure they’re indeed meeting their objectives. If you offer solid evidence behind how flex schedules will significantly improve your organization’s bottom line, executives are much more likely to jump on board and will be the largest advocates for your flex schedule initiatives.

Step 3. Set Specific and Measurable Goals for Flex Schedules

As you’re building a business case for your flex schedules, it should be easy to set specific and measurable goals, too. For instance, instead of generically stating you want to decrease the number of employee callouts with your flex schedules, state you want to decrease callouts by 10% within the operations department within the next month. Then it will be much easier to measure and track the goals you’re setting for your flex schedules.
Stay tuned. Tomorrow’s post will cover the remaining steps for implementing productivity-boosting flex schedules for your employees.

  1. 6 Key Stats About Remote and Flexible Work in 2017, and 2 Predictions. Accessed 3/22/2018.