Gone are the days of the 9 – 5 where you come to work, put in your time, and go home. Instead, companies are trending towards flexible work arrangements. This could mean employees make their own schedules, work from home, shift share, and so on. Sure, large corporations are still operating on the 9-5 for the most part. But, as an entrepreneur, it is your call on whether your business gets its flexing on or not. When it is time for you to make that judgement call, consider how flexible work arrangements can benefit your business.
Reduced Overhead Expense
When I worked in a corporate office, I once heard that each cubicle cost the company a little over $3000. One look at my plastic desk, gray felt walls and a quick fact check later left me stunned. There were 7000 people employed at this organization. That is $21000 in cubicle furniture alone that could have been saved by allowing associates to work at home.
Remote employees not only cut your office furniture costs, but also any additional costs associated with working onsite such as additional office space, electricity, water, etc. The fewer people you have onsite, the cheaper.
One of the primary reasons that associates struggle to finish their work is distractions from colleagues. When people work at home, this drastically reduces the time spent in water cooler chats and away from work. Additionally, instead of running home to let the dog out or meet the kids at the bus stop, they will already be home. By eliminating these concerns, it allows your people to focus on the work rather than watching the clock.
Non-traditional schedules reduce stress. Employees no longer have to fight traffic to work or rush to make it in on time. Additionally, they now have the flexibility to decide how their time is spent. Working at home goes well beyond impacting employee emotional well being, it also improves physical well being.
People who work at home are more likely to eat at home instead of running out to the nearest fast food stop. Additionally, they are more likely to exercise. This is likely due to the reduced travel time as well as the freedom to take an exercise break. If your organization pays for benefits, this could result in an enormous healthcare savings. At the very least, it would reduce the number of sick days taken by your employees.
Weather Conditions Don’t Matter
I live and work in Columbus, Ohio. Here in the north, snow can be a real hindrance with getting to and from work. Think of the number of snow emergencies your city faced in the last year? What about floods? Tornados? Earthquakes? All of these weather conditions could easily keep your employees from coming to work and bringing your business to a screeching halt.
Now what if these acts of nature happen while your employees are in the office? Worst case scenario, your building is destroyed and your employees are injured. Your are now liable Or worse, if a natural disaster happens at your office, you are liable for the costs.
Recruit and Retain Talent
Trying to figure out how to tap that millennial job market? Offer flexible work arrangements. Millennials are becoming known for choosing careers that allow for flexibility. As the new generations focus more on life experiences and work that allows them to pursue these passions, the workforce must adapt. By permitting associates to work at home or determine their own schedule, they are enabled to live the life they choose and not the life that fits around their job. This means you will not only recruit millennials, you will retain them.
Retention continues to be a focus for most companies as a way to avoid the costs of hiring and training a new associate. It is much more lucrative for a business to retain the employees it currently has instead of recruiting new employees. When employees consider leaving a job to accommodate their changing lifestyle, it is a more financially responsible option to allow the job to change with the associate, thus sparing your business the cost of hiring a replacement.
As an entrepreneur, you have the privilege to define work arrangements for your people. It is beneficial to your business to consider allowing flexible arrangements because:
- It will reduce your overhead costs
- Employees will be more productive
- And healthier
- The weather won’t halt your business
- You can easily recruit and retain your workforce
Not only will your associates appreciate options that work with their life, but you will see a cost benefit.
Are any of you currently offering flexible work arrangements? We want to hear how it is going! Let us know in the comments.