In a labor market so tight that companies compete to offer increasingly extravagant employee “perks” like yachts and game rooms, it's easy to overlook the fact that most workers just want a little flexibility.
A recent study by Clutch, a B2B research firm, found that 40% of U.S. employees surveyed said they valued flexible hours over any other perk they receive. More than half said it was the most important perk influencing their job satisfaction.
The study, reported in Business & Legal Resources' HR Daily Advisor, supports the findings of a 2017 employee benefits survey in which Society for Human Resource Management members listed flexible hours as an effective tool for boosting recruiting efforts and employee satisfaction.
Types of Flexible Working Arrangements
While on-site massage therapy and pottery classes may sound like fun, flexible scheduling goes a step further in promoting a healthy work/life balance and a culture where employees are appreciated. That's a powerful recruiting tool even if you don't have a game room.
Flexible work arrangements can include telecommuting, compressed schedules, adjusted hours or unlimited vacation.
Telecommuting allows employees to work outside the office. This can be introduced part-time or implemented for a specified number of hours per week or month. Employees get the added benefits of being able to choose their own workspace and reducing their commuting costs.
A compressed schedule allows employees to take days off by consolidating their hours over fewer days; the option of working a four-day work week of 10 hours days, for example, is an increasingly popular option. Some businesses offer compressed schedules during summer months or during a slow season.
Flexible scheduling can mean creating flexibility within the workday itself, allowing employees to work outside of a typical 9-5 schedule so they can run errands or take longer breaks, as long as all agreed upon work hours are completed.
A more recent employee benefit, the “unlimited vacation,” allows employees to choose the length and timing of their vacation, provided there is an agreement about what work will be completed in advance and adequate coverage for ongoing work.
Things to Consider Before Implementing Flexible Scheduling
Before offering flexible schedule arrangements in your business, you will need to consider how such perks will fit in with the needs of your company. Among other factors, you will want to consider:
- Your business structure
- Employee needs and benefits
- HR department capabilities
- What type of talent you are trying to recruit
- Flexible arrangement options that suit your industry
HR Software Leaves You Time to Be Creative
At SBS Payroll, our clients have access to comprehensive HCM software that streamlines the processes associated with a wide variety of HR functions, like recruiting, benefits management, scheduling, compliance and employee reviews. That's a perk you can keep for yourself. And with the time you save, you can focus on more important things, like coming up with the next great perk for your employees.