Workplace flexibility: what are the real pros and cons?August 18, 2015
Workplace flexibility: what are the real pros and cons?
Amanda is a single mother working in hospitality. She wants to spend more time with her family, so she asks her boss if she can cut her hours and work part-time.
Her boss says no. It’s full-time, or nothing.
Amanda later finds out the real reason her boss doesn’t want her working part-time. It’s not because the business can’t manage with her working fewer hours. It’s because part-time workers make rostering too hard.
When you take another look, though, have you considered all the pros and cons of flexible working arrangements?
The flexible work movement is here
If your employees haven’t started asking about flexible work, it’s only a matter of time.
38% of Australian small businesses say they’ve received requests for flexible working conditions, reports the Fair Work Commission. In larger businesses, that figure jumps to 72%.
Some managers say no to workplace flexibility because it’s inconvenient. And sometimes that’s understandable. Many managers feel like they’re already drowning in email and paperwork, without adding more complexity to the pile. But as more employees seek flexible working conditions, businesses who say no risk falling behind their competitors. You lose ground on service and innovation. Your best people may just choose to work elsewhere.
What does your business actually need?
Get ahead of the flexible work agenda. Review your business requirements. So that when you get a request for flexible work, you can make a smart decision.
If you’re a small start-up, maybe your business does need all hands on deck, five days a week, till you’re past the growth spurt.
Or if your business is more mature, maybe there’s more room to accommodate flexible working than you realise. Maybe there are positives to flexible work that need to be on the table as well: better morale, and lower costs from staff turnover.
Don’t put flexible work in the too-hard basket straight away. If the only obstacle is your people systems, then it’s time to upgrade.
Stepping up your rostering systems
The right technology can help take the headaches out of rostering a flexible workforce. For example, easyEMPLOYER makes it easy to create rosters based on staff availability. Staff enter the dates and times they can work, and easyEMPLOYER generates a roster.
It’s a simple way to manage work flexibility, and a small price to pay for more satisfied staff.