The toll of working long hours and not taking regular extended breaks is sort of the big elephant in the room. Companies are aware of how a lot of Fortune 500 names in the business look at the workforce as a sort of disposable commodity, where changing the way business has been done is too much of risk, no matter how much workers buckle under the weight of mental and physical exhaustion.It’s easy for large companies to swap out broken employees or supplement mediocre performance with more bodies, but small businesses need to squeeze every ounce of production out of their employees without losing them completely.The only way to do that, successfully, is to create a flexible work environment.
1 More Options, Less Conflict
What a flexible work environment means is a more manageable schedule for employees, not some radical way of handing off power to the worker, despite dismissals from the top business execs. They have little incentive to change their workplace to run more efficiently by changing its culture; it goes against their own beliefs, anyways.Flexible work environments give workers the choice to mold their schedule based on what they can do, not a way for them to do less work. Workers want to get as much pay as they can without it compromising their own personal lives. What this means is the ability to work longer hours when they can, but not because they’re forced to. This empowers the workforce, mentally, encouraging them to work with enthusiasm, not just obedience.
2 Cause and Effect
Burned out workers will gradually become more delinquent with their hours and performance, no matter how great of an employee they are, it’s just human nature. Flexible work environments don’t allow great employees to grow distant or become disenchanted with their work. Maybe, if given the choice, they could actually supplement their work from home or trade hours with others to allow them to stay on-target without the fear of adherence constantly in the backs of their minds?This will also indirectly improve relations with management. It is not uncommon for staff to feel disconnected with upper level management, since they’re on two separate planes of work scheduling.
3 Gradual Changes
Contrary to popular belief, implementing a flexible work environment doesn’t need to be done in one big drastic switch. It’s very easy to gradually ease into a new program that tells employees that their schedules aren’t set in-stone and, in fact, they can still keep their regular work schedules. Just opening those doors can instantly produce better employee productivity, despite very little deviation from work schedules.Offering the ability to quickly swap schedules or the potential to work remotely from home can be two huge expansions to a flexible work environment. Employee retention and growth should be top priorities for businesses going into 2017. Any fluctuations in the economy can really hurt a business that have trouble retaining workers and budgeting expenses.