#Workplace #Human Resources #Employer

The Pros and Cons of Flexible Working Hours

by Danial
Dec 21, 2018 at 5:19 PM

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There are pros and cons of allowing employees to work flexible schedules, whether it involves compressing work days, flexible daily hours or telecommuting. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons for employers and employees with a flexible work schedule.


Advantage for employees

With flexible work schedules, employees experience these benefits:

  • Flexibility to meet family needs, personal obligations and life responsibilities conveniently. When you have a flexible schedule, it’s easier for you to make time for your personal endeavours.

  • Reduced consumption of employee commuting time and fuel costs. In some places, commutes of more than an hour each way are not uncommon, especially in Klang Valley. If employees are allowed to work from home, that saves two hours of time and fuel.

  • Avoids traffic and the stresses of commuting during rush hours.

  • Increased feeling of personal control over schedule and work environment. By allowing employees to have control over their schedule and work environment, you appeal to entrepreneurial spirit which is good for your employees.

  • Reduces employee burnout due to overload. Flexibility will ensure your employees can take a break when they need it without incurring the wrath of an employer.

  • Allows people to work when they are at their most productive, feel freshest, and enjoy working. Many managers feel that a morning person is a hard worker and a night person is a slacker. There’s no evidence of such cases, it’s simply cultural.


Advantages for employers

With flexible work schedules, employers experience these benefits:

  • Employee morale, engagement and commitment will increase

  • Absenteeism and tardiness will be reduced

  • Reduced turnover of valued staff

  • Extended hours of operation for departments such as customer service

  • Develops image as a top employer with family-friendly flexible work schedules

  • Allows people to work when they are at the most productive, feel freshest, and enjoy working.


Disadvantages for employees

  • Employees who work best in an office environment may find it hard to work when their colleagues don’t have the same schedule. This is why many employers require core days and hours during which everyone is in the office.

  • There is no clear delineation between work and home. When you use flexible schedules, it can mean that you work all the time.


Disadvantages for employers

  • In team-oriented departments, teams still need to have meetings.

  • Some managers who are used to overseeing their staff activity have trouble adjusting to the new management style which requires trust.

  • Office-oriented people see their work-at-home colleagues as slackers because they can’t physically see their productivity.

  • Compressed work weeks can make client handovers complicated. Clients expect service 5 days a week during business hours and can be fussy when an employee isn’t in on certain days.

  • Jobs that require employees to face customers only allow certain types of flexible working hours. Other kinds of jobs such as manufacturing and healthcare share the same disadvantages. Employers struggle with fairness when only certain employees can work remotely.


Overall the pros outweigh the cons and a great manager can handle the cons. Flexible scheduling has become part of what employees are looking for in their comprehensive employee benefits packages. Your employees will love you, and you will benefit from overall positive morale which is linked to increased productivity.


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This article is based on Susan M. Heathfield's The Advantages and Disadvantages of Flexible Work Schedules.