Workplace Flexibility: Flexible Working Hours

by: Liselle Sheard

The topic of flexible workplaces can be complex and includes various considerations, this article will focus on working hours; discussing why and how to make them more flexible.

Flexible working hours are becoming increasingly popular in today’s society, and for good reason. It provides a number of benefits to both employers and employees, including improved work-life balance, increased job satisfaction, and enhanced productivity. However, one of the most important benefits of flexible working hours is the ability to better-support a diverse range of employees.

How can flexible hours help working parents

Flexible working hours can be very helpful for working parents who need to balance work and family commitments. For instance, they can arrange their schedule to be present for their children as well as being present for their employer. This can involve being able to pick their children up from school, and better-manage child care duties.

When considering the inclusivity of this topic, it’s important to be aware of the potential biases we hold regarding gender roles within a family unit, and avoid shaping policies around such biases. As such, the ‘flexibility’ must be available to all individuals, regardless of their identities, to ensure that individual commitments and needs are accommodated wherever possible. For example, many people have the bias that in a straight heterosexual relationship, it’s the woman’s role to take care of the children. Your team may have various other familial structures which would result in a man on your team being the primary guardian of a child, meaning it would be exclusionary to only offer flexibility for family commitments to the women on your team.

Flexible hours accommodate individuals with disabilities

There are many different types of disabilities and conditions, including physical disabilities, mental health challenges, and neurodiversity, that may require an individual to have accommodations provided at work. This makes it crucial for policies around working hours to avoid grouping people together and offering one solution.

Flexible working hours can be supportive to disabled employees for a number of reasons, including offering the opportunity to take breaks throughout the day and prioritize personal health commitments or arrange their projects and meetings to align with when they are able to do their best work.

Caregivers need flexibility to balance personal responsibility

Flexible working hours can also support caregivers who are responsible for looking after someone such as caring for elderly parents, or caring for someone with a disability. It enables them to balance their work and caregiving opportunities, providing the necessary flexibility to meet both commitments.

Individuals with religious commitments benefit from flexible working hours

Further, flexible working hours can support individuals with religious commitments by allowing them to attend religious services, observe religious holidays and practices, and adjust their work schedule to fit around their religious obligations.

On the whole, offering flexible working hours is an effective way for individual employees to take control of their schedule and accommodate their needs. Allowing individuals to determine their working hours supports all employees to balance their personal and professional commitments, and particularly helps ensure the workplace is equitable for diverse employees that may otherwise face challenges throughout the working day.

Does your workplace have flexible working hours?

These policies can feel challenging to implement in the beginning stages, as there may be some restructures to the way your organization runs. However, once such positive changes are made, many organizations see increases in employee morale and productivity.

At Diversio, we work with clients to recommend tailored solutions as well as providing resources and support with implementation.

Diversio is the people intelligence platform that measures, tracks, and improves Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI).

By connecting artificial intelligence (AI) technology, sophisticated data analytics, and knowledgeable subject matter experts, Diversio is able to accurately diagnose your pain points, benchmark you against peers, and create a robust action plan that will meet your DEI goals. Through the unique combination of technology and human expertise, Diversio is driving meaningful impact for hundreds of organizations across over 35 countries globally.
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