For many businesses, the days of clocking in at 9, taking a one-hour lunch halfway through the day, and then clocking out at 5 are long gone. Thanks to technology, we can time shift when we do our work. Many jobs can be done from just about anywhere in the world.
However, just because work can be done anytime and anywhere doesn’t mean that allowing employees to work however they please is good for business.
Importantly, every business is different and operates within its own circumstances, and allowing your particular employees to work whenever and wherever they want could be disastrous for your company. Or perhaps it is simply impossible if, for example, you have a manufacturing firm.
With that in mind, here’s a look at the potential positives and negatives of alternative work arrangements for your business, starting with the advantages.
- Employees love it. Providing workplace flexibility is usually applauded by employees, which means better employee morale, reduced absenteeism, and a better ability to recruit and retain talent.
- Increased productivity. This isn’t automatic, but allowing staff to work when they’re at their best (i.e., someone who considers themselves a “morning person” coming in early) gives them the opportunity to work when they feel they’re most productive and can get more quality work done.
- Extended hours for customers. Alternative work arrangements could mean that, rather than business hours of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., you now have people available to answer customer inquiries from, say, 7 a.m. until 8 p.m. This can help to create a better, more responsive customer experience.
However, there are also some pitfalls to be aware of.
- People still need to meet. In many businesses, staff members need to gather to discuss strategy and get things done. There are tools to help you do this from remote locations, but face-to-face is often best, and sometimes required.
- Some employees will take advantage. Every business leader knows that some employees are very efficient at working from home, but there are more than a few that consider themselves “home from work”—sure they’re online all day long, but the preponderance of their attention may be on their afternoon soap opera.
- It simply doesn’t work for some jobs. Some people will always need to be on site in order to accomplish their job tasks. And that can create…
- Hard feelings between different groups. If some members of your team are allowed to work from home but others are not, it can create animosity and damage your company’s culture.
For employees, alternative work arrangements provide flexibility and can help them to manage both their work and their other life obligations. Often workers see this type of flexibility as a big positive to a job. However, as a business leader, you need to weigh the pros and cons for your company and figure out how best to approach this still emerging trend.
Contact us at 215.441.4600 or firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions or would like to discuss how this topic may impact your business.
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