More than 40,000 millennials and non-millennials participated in PwC's "NextGen: A Global Generational Study" which contained findings about what employees in the workplace seek by way of work styles, values, and aspirations. The study revealed that 66% of millennials surveyed said they would like to shift their work hours to later in the day or put in some time in the evening. The desire for flexible scheduling is so great that 15% of male employees and 21% of female employees are willing to make a trade for it -- giving up some of their pay and slowing the pace of a career promotion in exchange for fewer scheduled hours at more accommodating times of the day. And it's not just millennials who dream of flex scheduling either. PwC reported that a significant number of employees across all generations want flexibility in where they work and how much they work. If workplaces want to accommodate the next generation of workers, then the first step will be adapting to a more flexible schedule.
From my experience, flexible scheduling works. I offer it to all of my team members, millennials and baby boomers alike, and it has had nothing but positive effects on both my team and their workload. If you're on the fence as to whether or not to make it an offering for your employees, consider the benefits that this incentive provides in the long run.
1. Flex scheduling allows work/life balance to be, well, balanced!
Nearly 6 million Americans work part-time and it has nothing to do with being unable to find full-time work either. They choose to work part-time in order to pursue their passions, like attend school, or spend more time with their families rather than commit to a 9-5 job that offers no accommodating leg room. By offering flexible scheduling, you recognize that your team members have busy personal lives outside of the office and give them a chance to active within them.
2. It builds trust.
Flexible scheduling is about give and take: employers give the freedom to head out early or come in later and in turn, employees are still required to get their workload done. Because their needs have been accommodated, employees feel appreciated which creates trust between the employee and employer. As a result, they are motivated to continue to work hard and get everything done and done well.
3. There's an increase in productivity.
In the same PwC study, it's mentioned that millennials don't see their work as something that should be measured by hours, but rather by the quality of the work that has been performed or produced. When the work day is anchored by flexible scheduling, the focus is placed on completing the workload rather than feeling as though you're watching the clock. Everyone's a little more fulfilled and committed to meeting their goals this way, making it easier to anticipate each day.
4. Flex scheduling allows you to save money.
This is a win-win for everyone. Employees can save on anything from commuting expenses to ordering out for lunch while employers (who can also cut back on those areas too!) are able to save on utility bills each month, along with smaller expenses like kitchen equipment (paper towels, plates, cutlery) and coffee.
5. You feel healthier.
Think about the times you considered calling in sick even though you weren't because you were too tired or stressed. Flexible scheduling allows you to take some "me time" and catch up on the areas of your personal life that might have been neglected otherwise. Whether this means squeezing in a run before work or being able to schedule in an earlier bedtime in the evening, you'll find yourself putting distance between yourself and the office and feeling healthier both mentally and physically because of it.
6. You're much more compelled to stay at your job.
The PwC study noted that if millennials don't feel like their needs for appreciation, support, and flexibility in the workplace are being met, they're much more likely to leave. After all, another company might be better accommodating -- but why shouldn't it be your own? If you want to attract and retain talented employees, create a positive environment that they can grow within and allow them the ability to work accordingly with flexible scheduling.