Traditional 9 to 5 or Flexible Hours?

What’s better?

There’s been a large trend recently in companies shifting to a more flexible work schedule. In Japan, for example, a 4-day workweek experiment saw productivity jump 40%.

As noted by Upwork, Apple hires “At Home Advisors” to help out with customer support, while Dell offers a “Connected Workplace” that includes a wealth of flexible work options, from remote work to flextime and more.

But are flexible work schedules better for everyone? And what are the advantages? Let’s dig in.

PRO/CON: You Set Your Own Schedule

Employees who use flextime are able to literally work around their schedule. If they need to get a haircut, pick up the kids, or just go on a lunch date, they can build that into their flextime plan. Employees who have the opportunity to work remotelycan also take care for loved ones or wait for the electrician to show up.

However, this can also be a major con. It’s easier to get work done at the office because that’s what the office is for. And your home  can be full of distractions, from your cell phone to your kids or the family dog. It’s also a lot easier to take a nap. If you do end up working from home, set boundaries with your family on when you need to get work done, and adhere to a strict work schedule. Otherwise you might end up working late into the night because you didn’t plan things out.

CON: Not All Employees Can Take Flextime

Flexible work schedules and remote work aren’t possible for everyone. If you’re in HR or marketing, it might be easy to work from home. But if you’re working on the assembly line or have a job that involves a lot of cross-departmental communication, flextime might not be an option.

This “some can, some can’t” nature of flextime can make some employees frustrated that only a select few can take advantage of flexible work.

PRO: Less Traffic

If you’re working from home or adjusting your work hours, you can skip rush hour. In bigger cities this is a huge plus, since that can add several hours to your day. The time you saved can now be spent working or relaxing.

CON: Harder to Coordinate with Other Departments

Although a dedicated work management system can help out with cross-departmental organization, we’ve all had moments when we needed to discuss something with a peer in person to make sure deadlines are met. Since shifting schedules and remote work can make this difficult or impossible to do, flextime can get complicated.

PRO: (Remote Work) Create Your Ideal Working Environment

If you work from home, you can decorate your space however you want. You can hang lights, posters, anything. You can even work from a coffee shop, library, or park if that’s what makes you thrive.

Whether a non-traditional work schedule is for you depends on who you are as a person. A traditional schedule might be ideal for you if you thrive in an office environment and place an importance on physically seeing your co-workers at work.If you’re a self-starter that likes to set your own schedule, flextime might be a safe bet.

Do you have questions about flexible work schedules and remote work? Let us know in the comments section below!

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