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Flexible Working Hours Increases Employee Productivity

Improving productivity levels of employees
Introducing flexible working hours has become a critical aspect of managing employees in the workplace. As per a study, 89 percent of millennial job seekers prefer to work for an organization that provides them with flexible working hours and a good work-life balance. However, introducing flexibility in the workplace doesn’t just benefit employees. It has an abundance of benefits for employers, as well. Primarily, it can be used for improving productivity levels of employees. Read on as we discuss how flexible working hours and productivity are interlinked with each other and whether your organization can benefit by letting employees choose how, when, and where they work.

Understanding the Millennial Definition of Productivity

The millennial definition of productivity is strongly linked to flexibility. Millennials do not interpret productivity as the number of hours they spend at the workplace. According to them, simply completing a 9 to 5 work shift doesn’t necessarily mean that you had a productive day. Instead, millennials take into account the number of tasks completed during the day when determining their productivity levels. This is where flexibility comes in. A millennial employee prefers to use their time in the best way possible and deliver value to the organization. This can have a significant impact on the quality of work produced, as well. Thus, confining a millennial employee to being productive during a designated set of hours can be detrimental to their performance. Instead, you must adopt a flexible approach and allow employees to work during periods of peak productivity. This can lead to better results.

The Impact of Flexible Work Hours on Productivity in the Workplace

Now that you understand how millennials interpret productivity, let’s take a look at how flexible work hours can contribute to improving productivity levels.

1. It Allows Employees to Achieve More

According to a study, introducing flexible work hours has a direct impact on employee productivity by allowing them to achieve more. Instead of limiting employees to a traditional 9 to 5 shift, the participants of the study were asked to focus more on a particular goal or objective. This involved shuffling their tasks and performing some tasks at home. As a result of this practice, there was a notable increase in employees achieving their work goals for a particular period.

2. It Reduces Stress

Another study has pointed out a link between stress and work-life balance. As per the study, employees that fail to maintain a good work-life balance due to inflexible working hours are more prone to stress. This can lead to a host of problems such as depression, heart disease, and stroke. Feeling stressed also contributes to conflicts in your personal and professional life. On the other hand, an employee that is able to manage their work well is more motivated and happy. Flexible workplace practices appear to have a positive impact on employee morale, as well. This can enhance their productivity.

3. It Lowers the Rate of Absenteeism and Improves Health

Most employees are forced to take leave from work when they are feeling unwell. This can contribute to a high rate of absenteeism. However, it appears the workplace flexibility is linked to absenteeism, as well. According to research, a flexible work model provides employees with the liberty to work at a certain pace even when they are not well. It also allows them to produce high-quality work without having to suffer the long-term consequences of neglecting their health. This can be highly beneficial to employers, as well as employees as it improves job satisfaction and long-term productivity. Another study found that flexible work hours allow employees to get more sleep and improve their health. This can boost their energy levels and allows them to recuperate more quickly from an illness so they can return to work.  On the whole, a healthy employee is also likely to produce better work and put in more hours without experiencing emotional and mental exhaustion.

4. It Improves Employer-Employee Relationships

Introducing flexible working hours can improve the relationship between an employer and an employee by building trust. A flexible work policy grants a certain amount of autonomy to the employee. Besides other things, this practice indicates that you trust the employee to complete their tasks without requiring constant supervision. Empowering your employees and showing them respect can encourage them to meet your expectations. This can help them perform better and deliver high-quality work.

5. It Prevents Employee Burnout

Research also suggests that asking your employees to put in more hours doesn’t contribute to their productivity. According to a study conducted by Stanford University, most workers will cease to be productive if they are made to work for more than 50 hours per week. They also become more prone to burnout. These findings are supported by a work experiment conducted by Microsoft. The company introduced a 4-day work week in its offices in Japan. As per the results, employee productivity improved by 40%.

Introducing Flexible Work Hours Leads to Better Work-Life Balance and Improves Productivity

There is a clear link between flexible working hours and productivity. From encouraging a result-oriented approach and improving employee health to building trust and achieving a good work-life balance, there is a lot to be gained from introducing a more flexible work policy. Besides improving productivity levels, employers can also enjoy a higher retention rate, lower operating costs, and an enhanced company image that can attract top talent.
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