Time and time again, we hear about the overwhelming number of benefits that flexible work brings to employees and employers alike. And the evidence supports this.
The Gartner 2021 Digital Worker Experience Survey finds that 43% of workers say that flexible working hours have helped them achieve greater productivity. We wondered: what does this look like in practice? So, we asked the Fairygodboss community how flexible work affects them.
“I absolutely feel as though flexible scheduling and WFH options have made me much more productive,” one member wrote. “The commute can be grueling. To be able to skip a 1–3 hour commute each way is definitely a productivity changer and allows me to put in extra at my job that I wouldn't have if I spent time commuting during peak rush hour.”
“When working in higher education, I negotiated a two-day-a-week work-from-home arrangement before that was the norm,” Becca Carnahan agreed. “I also worked an 8–4 schedule to accommodate daycare pickup and drop-off needs. The commute was brutal so without this flexibility, I don't see a scenario where I could have stayed as long as I did before taking my own business full-time.
“Other great flexible schedules I've seen are job shares, meeting-free times, 4-day-a-week schedules, banked hours to use for school pickups instead of relying on using vacation time. There are a lot of options out there that retain employees, and retained, satisfied employees drive results!”
“Honestly, at first, I was not crazy about remote work,” Leonor Fitzgerald wrote. “It took a long time for the supervisor to trust that the work was completed. Which lead to many more meetings, taking time from my day-to-day. That eventually did come to a stop after employees voiced their concerns about the additional meetings. Also, it was hard to set a clear dividing line between home and work.
“Now, I love the flexible work schedules. I have more control over my time schedule and working environment. I have the flexibility to better meet my family and personal needs. Also, I reduced commuting time, daycare costs and gas expenses. I personally believe it has improved my productivity. I can indulge in self-care more. I don't feel ‘guilt" about not being in front of the PC or at my desk.”
“My company offers a lot of flexibility, and it's been a game-changer for me personally and for everyone I interact with,” said Sharon Grehan. “It helps with work-life balance more than anything (at least for me). I don't think it makes much of a difference for productivity in the short term, but avoiding burnout is a longer-term view.”
The benefits of flexible work are far-reaching. It will attract professionals to your company — a study by ManpowerGroup Solutions finds that almost 40% of candidates around the world say workplace flexibility is among the top three factors they consider when making a decision about where to work. It also leads to stronger employee engagement. Retention, too, is stronger — according to a Flexjobs survey, 80% of employees agreed that they would be more loyal to their employer if they had flexible work arrangements.
Clearly, flexible work is important to our current landscape — for employees and employers alike.
This article reflects the views of the author and not necessarily those of Fairygodboss.
Laura Berlinsky-Schine is a freelance editor and writer based in Brooklyn with her demigod/lab-mix Hercules. She primarily focuses on education, technology and career development. She has worked with Penguin Random House, Fairygodboss, CollegeVine, BairesDev and many other publications and organizations. Her humor writing has appeared in the Weekly Humorist, Slackjaw, Little Old Lady Comedy, Flexx Magazine, Points in Case, Jane Austen's Wastebasket, and Greener Pastures. She also writes fiction and essays, which have appeared in publications including The Memoirist and The Avalon Literary Review. View her work and get in touch at: www.lauraberlinskyschine.com.
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