Are flexible schedules more valuable than a pay increase?
Most companies agree that people are their most valuable assets. What they fail to realize is that for today’s worker, salaries are no longer a top priority. In fact, 62 percent of working professionals have left or considered leaving a job because it didn’t have work flexibility, according to a recent survey by FlexJobs. Instead, these workers seek jobs with flexible hours.
The desire for jobs with flexible hours is so great that 15% of male employees and 21% of female employees are willing to give up some of their pay and slowing the pace of a career promotion in exchange for fewer scheduled hours at more accommodating times of the day.
In this article, we will cover the benefits of flexible scheduling and types of jobs with flexible hours. Quickly jump by category below:
- What is workplace flexibility?
- Jobs with flexible hours
- How Deputy supports flexible schedules
- Why flexible schedules are more valuable than a pay increase
- What this means for employers
The idea behind increased flexibility on a workplace level is to create a work-life balance that works in favor of your business and your employees. Workplace flexibility can take on a number of different forms, depending on the needs and structure of your business.
Workplace flexibility doesn’t just mean working remotely. It includes all types of working arrangements, from when to take breaks, working from home or caregiving leave. While no employer can accommodate every option, they can provide a range of options that appeal to a variety of candidates. Alternative working arrangements include a broad spectrum of work arrangements, including the following:
- Choice and control in work schedules
- Full-time work from home or location independence
- Freelancing or gig economy jobs
- Jobs with flexible hours
- Part-time work from home
- Opportunity for sabbaticals or career breaks (e.g. extended time off)
Flexjobs, a job search platform, and career services company, released their list of the fastest-growing jobs with flexible hours by category. Here’s what they came up with:
- Job titles include: editor, editorial assistant, copywriter
- Job titles include: freelance writer, author, technical writer
- Data Entry
- Job titles include: data entry clerk, data entry operator, data entry specialist
- Advertising & PR
- Job titles include: content strategist, digital and social media manager, campaign manager, public affairs director
- Event Planning
- Job titles include: field events manager, event planner/analyst, conference planner, festival coordinator, event project manager
- News & Journalism
- Job titles include: columnist, data detective, social media reporter, news analyst
- Internet & Ecommerce
- Job titles include: web marketing, SEO analyst, e-commerce marketing coordinator, web project leader
- Account Management
- Job titles include: account manager, sales representative, product manager
- Computer & IT
- Job titles include: business analyst, network administrator, software developer, java developer, technical specialist
- Accounting & Finance
- Job titles include: bookkeeper, financial auditor, payroll manager, tax accountant
Gig economy jobs are also gaining momentum. These jobs let you stay in control of when and where you work.
Using Deputy’s Open Shift feature, employers can now offer flexible scheduling, allowing managers to offer shifts out to available, properly trained employees who won’t exceed overtime or other labor rules.
Increasingly, demand for open-shift scheduling has grown as more organizations realize set schedules simply don’t work for them.
Staff are able to choose their shifts that best align with their life schedules, all within a centralized location. Get notifications of open shifts sent directly to your mobile device or email. It’s as easy as that.
Deputy’s Open-shift scheduling feature is a compromised solution for both employees and employers. This flexibility allows employees to be empowered all while ensuring coverage of shifts. Further, if a shift needs covering at the last minute, it can be set to open and will notify all available employees once it becomes available. Open shifts help make flexible work possible and will only continue to rise in prominence.
Why flexible scheduling is the best employee incentive
Allowing your employees to work from home might not be such a bad idea. A new study from the staffing firm, ManpowerGroup, points out that employees have a lot of reasons for wanting more flexible schedules—including work-life balance, the opportunity for side income, learning opportunities, and the potential for gaining control over their schedules. The reasons differ based on demographics.
It’s not surprising that employees today are demanding more flexible work hours. It’s estimated that by 2020, 60 million Americans will be independent workers – freelancers, contractors, and consultants. This growing demand for flexible schedules is obvious, particularly among younger workers.
Below are the top reasons why flexible schedules are more valuable than a pay increase:
- Better work/life balance
- Increase of productivity
- Attracts and retains younger employees
- Too-strict hours are bad for business
- Save on spending
- No more ‘no call no shows’
Better work/life balance
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 20 million Americans actively choose part-time work. However, finding a full-time job isn’t the issue. For most, working part-time is a result of simply not being able to commit to 9-to-5 jobs. More people are wanting a better work-life balance and the gig-economy has made it possible for those people to support themselves and their families. Employers can benefit from these temporary jobs as well.
However, one-third of this demographic, choose part-time work so they can follow their passions. These workers want to design their own careers. Many are young and college-educated, and they want jobs with flexible hours that will cater to their lifestyle. The morale boost gained from improving their work-life balance can also result in increased employee productivity and performance.
Increase of productivity
According to the National Workplace Flexibility Study, 98% of managers who implement a flexible work schedule see no negative drawbacks. Rather, they see results like better communication, interaction, and productivity. More research by Stanford professor, Nicholas Bloom, found that working remotely increases productivity, overall work hours, and employee satisfaction.
Working in an office atmosphere 40 hours a week may affect your productivity. Between interruptions from co-workers, a loud atmosphere, and other distractions, it can be hard to focus on your work. If an employee has the ability to work remotely from home, they also save time on their commute, which means they may be more inclined to start work earlier and finish later. It’s no longer the case that every employee needs to be in the office to be productive.
Attracts and retains younger employees
Believe it or not, almost half of Millennial employees will actually choose flexible schedules over pay. Even further, 86% of workers say that work-life balance is a top career priority. Because they are tethered to technology, millennials naturally gravitate toward remote employment situations.
Millennials are redefining the way we work, benefiting both employee and the employer. Jobs with flexible hours and remote work can benefit the company as a whole, producing happy, healthy, and productive employees. These are the environments younger generations want to work in. If workplaces want to accommodate the next generation of workers, then the first step will be adapting to a more flexible schedule. Organizations would be wrong to dismiss these expectations and those that do risk being left behind in the battle for the best and brightest young professionals.
Too-strict hours are bad for business
Simply put, strict hours are bad for business because they’re bad for employees. Inflexible hours, especially combined with low wages, place demands on employees that cause stress. This affects both themselves and their families, leaving them hungry for more time. In fact, research has proven it is often hazardous to employee health. Excessive stress can result in poor heart health and lead to sleep problems, too.
Too much work can also reduce or eliminate time available for healthy activities like physical exercise, which can improve mood and memory and prevent physical complications like high blood pressure and heart disease. Finally, excessive work can mean excessive stress, adding to the risk of high blood pressure and chronic heart disease.
Save on spending
Flexible work arrangements are becoming more than a trend. It’s also a cost-efficient way of keeping a business running. According to Flexjobs, an increase in telecommuting could save businesses and workers more than $700 billion a year, and feeding into that number are decreased absenteeism, reduced turnover, and lower travel and gas expenses. There are many cost benefits to consider, such as shutting down the office entirely for one day every week. During that day, no one is draining utilities like electricity or water, and you’re saving on smaller investments, too, like kitchen and office supplies. If the work can still get done, what may seem like small cost savings ultimately makes a huge difference.
Labor costing can also become a burden. This includes costs associated with employing your staff. Optimizing your schedule and using an employee scheduling software can provide tools such as labor forecasting to help ensure you have the perfect amount of staff schedules. To read more about labor forecasting with Deputy, click here.
No more ‘no call, no shows’
In an on-call scheduling system, employees often have little to no notice or guarantee of when they’ll be required to work. Research has shown that workers with irregular schedules are more likely to experience work-family conflicts and have higher levels of work stress. Improving your scheduling process with flexible work options can prevent avoid no-shows at the workplace.
On-call scheduling can also hurt your company legally. In fact, many states have passed predictive scheduling laws that ban ‘on-call’ scheduling, such as New York City’s Fair Workweek law. If you are an employer in New York, you may be subject to these laws and can face hefty fines. Read and download our quick guide on how your business can stay compliant with these new regulations.
The demand for quality flexible work is increasing in both the United States and internationally. Many modern companies are rethinking the rules of the workplace. The idea that every employee needs to work the exact same schedule is no longer commonly accepted. More and more companies are now allowing their employees to work flexible schedules instead.It’s time for companies to embrace the way of the workplace future. Workforce management solutions, in combination with open-shift functionality, provide a solution for a better work-life balance for employees and employers. As the workplace relies on technology usage more, it will become increasingly easy for most industries to adapt to a scheduling software with confidence that their employees will use and benefit from it. By doing so, employees and employers can achieve the flexible schedule they desire.
Ultimately, those organizations that embrace this shift will be the market winners in recruiting and retaining top talent. By using Deputy’s workforce management software, you can create a work-life balance that works in favor of your business and your employees. To learn more, try out Deputy for free by starting your 30-day trial below:
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