When thinking about the stereotypical or common working hours it is 9am-5pm Monday through to Friday in office environment. However, this traditional way of working is changing, modernising and adapting to more suited to employees needs.
There are several reasons why companies are moving towards having flexible working hours, however the most noteworthy are, advances in technology, changes in societal norms and COVID-19.
Before the times of WIFI, Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Google Files and Drop Box there was a need for employees to be in the office, as equipment such as typewriters and computers were pricey and not readily available. However, now due to technological advancements as long as you have a WIFI connection and access to a computer or laptop you will more than likely be able to work remotely.
The 9am-5pm eight-hour work day was invented by American labor unions in the 1800s and became mainstream by Henry Ford in the 1920s. Since this time society has seen and welcomed many new changes and shifts in behavioral patterns. Women are now able to work, have a career, gain an education and the list goes on. When the development of the 9-5 working hours was created, women stayed at home and looked after the children and the home. Since this time women have become career focused and taken control of their life paths. Having children and working full time is the new normal, however childcare hours are limited and can be hard to arrange. Having flexible hours means that companies don’t have to limit their employees.
COVID-19 and its effects has dramatically shifted the usual office dynamic and arrangements. Due to lock down restrictions that took place and started in March, non-essential travel was banned, in addition to the closure of offices. During this time it became clear to many different sectors and businesses that remote working operates well. Of course, certain industries will never be able to function well if staff work remotely, however, when thinking of most office-based jobs the likelihood is that they can and will. In recent years we have all seen the shift from clothing shops on highstreets being moved to online only stores, this saves money for rent in addition to other costs such as cleaners and interior design. In a similar way, moving offices to remotely working can save companies costs on things such as: desks, office rent, WIFI, toilet paper and the list continues.
Flexible working policies differ from company to company, and can tend to include, part-time work, and flexible hourly arrangements. The most common form of flexible working is through ‘flexi time’. Flexi time is a system whereby as long as the long load is done and your weekly total of contracted hours is achieved, starting and finishing times can be determined to the employee.
Flexi time is popular and relatively modern method of working and tends to be well liked by employees. Employee’s wellbeing is strongly linked to job satisfaction. And job satisfaction can be linked to a plethora of different things. Having a company that is willing for its employees to work the hours that suit them, provided the work gets completed, can cater individuals specific needs, therefore enhancing their wellbeing in addition to their motivation levels. Having a flexi-time policy allows employees to feel more in control of their own lives.
Flexi time also is a great way to help alleviate stress in employees. We all have doctors appoints, dentist appoints etc., taking time off work, or having to worry about booking an appointment for after work can be stressful, and sometimes not possible. Having flexi-time hours however, means an employee can book and appointment knowing they can make up the hours later on.
Flexi time is a great way to keep employees motivated, happy, and in control of their own wellbeing, all these traits can result in better progress in a company. Choosing working hours even if it means working one hour more on a Monday and one hour less on a Friday, has a large impact on peoples lives and keeps employees from taking sick days. In addition it also decreased the rate of staff turnover, as staff are happier in their roles.
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