Flexible working hours provide professionals with several highly sought-after benefits. This has solidified them as one of the most coveted perks for job-seekers. Consequently, more and more businesses are embracing flexible working schedules. Could they be a good fit for your company as well? 

In this article, we’ll explore the pros and cons of flexible working hours for your company.  We will take a look at a few different types of flexible schedules and delve into how you can implement them.

What are flexible working hours?

In short, a flexible schedule allows employees to start and finish working at any time. It may also allow them to work a varying number of hours each day. As defined by the UK government, they can include core working hours. These are generally implemented to facilitate collaborative work and meetings. 

Flexible work schedules can provide employees with lots of freedom. Many firms allow their team members to work any day of the week. However, they typically include various limitations to prevent overworking. These can be working restrictions at night or when the company’s office is closed. 

These schedules can take a variety of forms. One popular example is the compressed workweek, which involves four ten-hour working days. Let’s explore some other ones next.

The types of flexible working schedules

There are lots of ways for companies to implement flexible working hours in their teams. Some aren’t much different from conventional schedules. Others, meanwhile, provide employees with a significant degree of freedom.

9/80 schedule

The 9/80 schedule is a deviation from the conventional 5/2 schedule, which is standard worldwide. It enables employees to have a three-day weekend every two weeks. This schedule compresses eighty working hours in nine days, which is where the 9/80 name stems from.

Compressed workweek

The compressed workweek takes the same approach as the 9/80 schedule. However, it increases the frequency of three-day weekends to every week. This schedule requires professionals to work ten hours per day.

Four-day workweek

On the surface, the four-day workweek seems identical to the compressed one. However, it differs in one key way: some companies require only 32 hours of work per week. This means that professionals will work the standard eight hours per day while reaping the benefits of three-day weekends.

Flexible with core hours

A flexible working schedule with core hours allows varying start times. However, employees will need to be active at certain specified hours. This is typically done to facilitate collaborative work, including meetings.

Fully flexible working hours

Fully flexible working schedules allow employees to complete their tasks anytime they wish. This provides an unparalleled degree of freedom. However, they are not suitable for every profession.

The advantages of flexible work schedules

Let’s now explore the pros of flexible work schedules, starting with increased employee productivity.

Increased employee productivity

Flexible working schedules allow employees to start working when they’re most productive. For some, this may be very early in the morning, while others may prefer to start working later in the day. This will naturally lead to an increase in employee performance. Your team members can take advantage of this to finish their tasks sooner. You can then use this extra time for many things, such as training programs.

Improved bargaining power when hiring

A flexible working schedule is a significant and in-demand benefit. Thus, an employer can offer the perk to enhance their talent acquisition efforts. These schedules are suitable for a wider variety of professionals. Conveniently, this helps employers attract a wider pool of talent to grow their teams. Offering flexible working hours can also help companies reduce payroll expenses. Moreover, flexible working hours can provide employees with an unparalleled work-life balance. When combined with the benefits of remote work, this can greatly increase a company’s appeal to the best professionals in its industry. 

Enhanced work-life balance

Professionals usually take advantage of flexible working hours to increase their productivity. However, they can adjust their schedules for their personal lives as well. This can be done to spend time with visiting family members or to celebrate holidays. Consequently, this can also help companies enhance their talent retention rates.

The disadvantages of flexible working hours

Flexible working hours offer a plethora of advantages to both employers and employees. However, they are not for everyone. Let’s take a look at some of the drawbacks of flexible schedules.

Reduced collaboration

Employees working at different hours will have fewer opportunities to work together. This makes flexible working schedules a poor fit for collaboration-heavy workplaces. Teams with members from more than one time zone are even less suited for such schedules. 

Increased risk of burnout

Flexible working schedules can blur the lines between personal and work time for some people. This is due to a lack of boundaries between the two, as most will complete their work tasks on personal devices. 

Over a long enough period, this will lead to burnout. A reduction in employee productivity will follow suit. Fortunately, this is pretty simple to mitigate through the use of time-tracking software. WebWork offers an employee Work-Life Balance feature to help with this challenge.

Management challenges

Managing employees who work at different times of the day can be quite a challenging task. It may often require managers to be active for an extended amount of hours to fulfill their duties. This makes high-quality employee productivity monitoring software vital to ensure adequate team performance.

Should companies offer flexible work schedules?

A flexible work schedule is a benefit that every team manager should consider. If your company already uses productivity-tracking software, they are a no-brainer. This also applies if you offer remote or hybrid working arrangements. However, their drawbacks make them unsuitable for many companies. This includes those that feature collaboration-heavy work environments.

How to implement flexible working hours

1. Integrate time-tracking software

Time-tracking software is one of the most important ingredients of flexible work schedules. It is used to make sure that team members complete their tasks while avoiding burnout. If you’re looking for a high-quality solution, try WebWork Time Tracker. Its features will allow you to give your employees any degree of flexibility they desire. At the same time, you can use it to ensure that your team performs adequately.

2. Establish flexible working policies

Another important step in integrating these schedules is establishing policies. As discussed earlier, companies can use several types of flexible working arrangements. Each of these offers varying levels of freedom. It is crucial to choose the schedule that suits your company the best.

3. Evaluate results and adjust

After deploying flexible working hours at your business, measure its effects on productivity. Many time-tracking solutions, including WebWork, offer productivity-monitoring tools to help you with this. You can experiment by implementing a 9/80 schedule first. If the change is positive, you can gradually provide more freedom to your employees.

Closing thoughts

Flexible working hours can provide many advantages to both you and your employees. They will boost your team’s productivity and help you attract the best talent. However, some companies are better off sticking with conventional schedules instead.