Benefits of flexible work for employees
The concept of flexiwork challenges what most people consider to be “normal” working hours that make up a typical working week. In place of the traditional format of working for 5 days and 8 hours per day in a fixed location, flexiworkers are given the freedom to condense their working week, work remotely from their employer or a combination of both. It’s an increasingly popular choice for employees and also companies looking to provide their workers with a better work-life balance.
The context of the nine-to-five
The period from education to retirement has, since the 1920s, revolved largely around a full-time work schedule of 40 hours per week. A five day week with each day mathematically split conveniently into 3 chunks – 8 hours for work, 8 hours for leisure and 8 hours for sleep. It’s a marked improvement on the working days of the early 1800s that lasted anywhere from 12 to 16 hours over a 6-day week. The 8 hour working day allowed factories to be increasingly efficient, so everyone seemed happy with the system. Fast-forward nearly 100 years and things have changed. Manual factory work and heavy machinery no longer dominate our economy and we have, amongst other things, mobiles, laptops and the internet. The Information Age is well and truly here, boasting advancements in technology and communications beyond the imaginations of the soot-covered workers taking their 8 hours leisure in 1900. In the context of such groundbreaking developments questions about modern relevance of the 9-to-5 are inevitable.
Flexiwork and the lifestyle revolution
Many companies offering flexi-work to their employees realise that an alternative to traditional ways of working is attractive and indeed necessary for modern workers. Work-from-home, longer weekends, hot-desking are all ways to make us happier and healthier in our work. It’s a false dichotomy that longer office hours bring increased productivity and shorter office hours the reverse. In fact, working from home or having more time off can actually make us better and more productive at what we do. Instead of adapting the environment for the work, flexi-work allows work to adapt to the modern world and takes in to account that, for a large number of positions, we don’t need to be in one place every day to be good at what we do.
The irrefutable benefits of working with flexibility
The list is endless but the principal reason that flexi-working is a winner is that it allows time for the things that really matter; spending time with family, doing exercise, sleeping, seeing friends, cooking lunch at home, drinking coffee on a balcony, walking the dog, doing that degree, learning a language, dealing with stress, travelling, recovering from a hangover….the list is endless. What is increasingly obvious is that 8 hours per day for recreation is too rigid and simply not sufficient. Today’s employees need to take control of their time to foster an intuitive, and more harmonious, balance between their careers and their lives.
If you want to read about other benefits, see the benefits of flexible working for employers too.