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In any business, one of the decisions that must be made coming out the gate is the hours and shifts during which employees will work. While most businesses stick to the classic “9 to 5,” the increased push towards greater productivity has extended the eight hour day into a nine and sometimes ten hour day. All of this push towards productivity, however, has lead to many employees feeling “burned out” because they don’t have adequate time to do things outside of their job. Employees who are salaried are especially feeling overworked as their hours often extend well beyond the typical 40-hour work week, leaching into family time and personal time.

More and more employers are picking up on the correlation between overworked employees and unhappy employees and are taking steps to help their workers achieve a better work-life balance. One such step involves offering employees the option to have flexible work schedules. In fact, studies have shown that, when looking for new employment, after a good salary the most important benefit a company can offer to women is flexible hours, whether or not these women are mothers. Another recent study reveals that regardless of gender, offering flexible work hours is one of the most appealing benefits to millennials and makes them more likely to accept the job. Still not convinced? Take a look at just a few of the benefits of having a flexible work schedule.

  • Your employees can be a more active member of their family.
    • If you’re employing the mother of a few elementary school-aged children, being at work at 8:00 in the morning might not be ideal if your kids need to be at school by 8:30 and you need to drop them off. Having flexible work hours allows the employees to modify their work schedule around their home life; while they’ll still work the normal hours that anyone else would work, they have more freedom to be active both at work and with their families.
  • As a business, you could have fewer expenses.
    • If your entire team is working remotely with flexible hours, the need for a permanent workspace becomes essentially negated. Since you don’t need to provide an office, you’re going to save a good bit of money not needing to pay for and maintain an office space. You’ll also lose the residual costs of heating, air conditioning, and any other utility costs associated with renting.
  • You can open your employment search to a national level.
    • While this may not be feasible for companies whose employees still may need to meet up for meetings or collaboration, having employees who work flexible hours allows you to extend your search beyond local candidates and opens the possibility of hiring people all over the country. This will allow you to always select the best candidates for the job, not just those that are close by.
  • Believe it or not, your employees will be more productive.
    • Trust is a two way street; if you trust your employees and give them the autonomy and freedom of working a flexible schedule, they will return that trust by working hard on their own terms in an environment that works for them. Don’t believe me? Take a look at this article from Inc. — when employees are able to work flexibly, the focus shifts from watching the clock and counting the hours to crafting and delivering high-quality work.