Flexible Workplaces: Pros, Cons and Recommendations

Woman looking at her clock

Flexible workplaces are a growing trend in modern corporate culture and have been in increasing demand among employees. McKinsey’s 2022 American Opportunity Survey revealed that 87% of employees surveyed take advantage of flexible working when given the chance^1^. This article will dive into different aspects of flexible workplaces, including their benefits and challenges, as well as how to best implement a flexible work policy in your organization.

What is a Flexible Workplace?

A flexible workplace is an approach to work that ensures an employee completes their work, but allows flexible working hours with varying start and finish times. This breaks the traditional structure of a work role that has certain fixed hours per day. Different types of policies achieve this in different ways. Here are some examples of flexible work schedules your organization can adopt:

  • Flextime
  • Results-oriented work environment
  • Compact week
  • Flexible year
  • Job sharing
  • Unlimited vacation
  • Reduced hours

Let’s dive into the details.

Flextime

Flexitime is one of the most common types of flexible working. This means that the employee works a fixed number of hours and can influence their start and end times. Flexitime may or may not specify core hours that a person is required to work.

Result-oriented Work Environment

In a results-oriented work environment, the hours employees work don’t matter. They can work whatever hours they want, as long as they produce the desired results. These working environments are typically best for businesses that rely heavily on freelancers and contractors.

Compact Week

A compact workweek allows employees to work a full workweek (usually 35-40 hours) in fewer days. This could look like four 10-hour days instead of five 8-hour days.

Let’s look at some other ways to adopt a flexible workplace policy:

  • Flexible year: You calculate hours on an annual basis
  • Job sharing: Employees share their schedules between them to do the same job
  • Unlimited vacation: You offer unlimited vacation time, although employees must meet certain conditions and requirements
  • Reduced hours: The employee’s working hours are less than the standard for their role and their salary is adjusted as needed

Benefits and Challenges of Flexible Workplaces

Let’s discuss the main pros and cons of adopting a flexible workplace policy.

Advantages

First, let’s cover the benefits your business will see by adopting a flexible workplace policy.

  1. Happier, more satisfied employees
  2. Better retention of top talent
  3. More sustainable business practices with a smaller carbon footprint
  4. Practical for recruitment
  5. Reduced costs
  6. Better support for employees with young children

Challenges

Now we need to cover the challenges that can come with a flexible work schedule.

  1. Proximity bias
  2. Less communication and oversight of the work performed
  3. Potential impact on teams and productivity

7 Best Practices for Flexible Workplace Policies

Now let’s dive into how to implement flexible working hours.

  1. Ensure flexible working hours are appropriate for the role
  2. Use skills testing to confirm employees are ready for flexible working
  3. Offer remote working options for flexible staff
  4. Carefully consider whether employees should work core hours or whether they can be fully flexible
  5. Build an official, clearly defined procedure for flexible hours
  6. Have the courage of your convictions
  7. Upgrade your tech stack to empower flexible working

Conclusion

Implementing a flexible workplace policy improves your employees’ productivity and engagement and drastically reduces turnover among employees who desperately need flexible working, such as parents and students. With a little time and effort, you’ll be well on your way to reaping the benefits of a flexible workforce.

How to use MyDesk in the Flexible Workplace

MyDesk offers an intuitive platform where employees can easily reserve workstations, meeting rooms or other facilities. This creates a seamless experience for employees who can plan their workday and secure the resources they need. The system also allows real-time resource management, meaning management can adjust and optimize the use of office space based on current demand.

With MyDesk, it’s possible to collect data on workplace usage, which can provide valuable insights into how spaces are used. This can be used to improve the layout and features of the workplace and ensure they meet the needs of employees. In addition, MyDesk supports social interactions and collaboration by making it easier for colleagues to find each other and schedule shared work time in the office.

Security is also an important element of MyDesk. The system can be integrated with your company’s security protocols to ensure only authorized people have access to certain areas. This is especially important at a time when many businesses are concerned about maintaining safety standards.

Finally, MyDesk promotes a culture of flexibility and efficiency. Employees feel more in control of their work environment and can perform at their best no matter where they work from. MyDesk is a key component of the modern, flexible workplace where employee wellbeing and productivity go hand in hand.

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Henrik, Jesper og Louise