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Flexible Schedules: A Benefit for the 21st Century


Working 9 to 5 is so last-millennium, when most white-collar workers were tethered to an office, and a clear line existed between work and home.

That's all changed. Today, companies are more flexible, employing workers connected to the mother ship only by their laptops and Starbucks' Wi-Fi. For companies with flexible schedules, the "work day" is open to interpretation, and for some employees, 9 to 5 can mean 9 p.m. to 5 a.m.

Flexible schedules have their benefits.

Increased productivity

Flexible schedules allow employees to work when they're at their best. If a worker is a morning person, he can work in the A.M. If he fades at 2, he can take a siesta and return to work when he's more rested later in the day. In the end, a more energetic worker is a more productive worker.

Less absenteeism

Life happens, kids get sick, the cable guy can only come between 2 and 4, and your dentist can fit you in only at 10:30. Instead of calling in sick or taking paid time off, flexible schedules let employees put in a full working day before or after they attend to personal business.

Healthier employees

A University of Minnesota study, "Changing Work, Changing Health: Can Real Work-Time Flexibility Promote Health Behaviors and Well-Being?" found that employees who had flexible schedules got almost an hour more sleep during nights before work. They were less likely to work when sick and more likely to get medical attention when they needed it. Ultimately, flexible schedules improved health and energy, and decreased stress and work-family conflict, the study found.

Flexibility attracts talent

Employers who offer flexible schedules are better able to attract talent, especially millennials who value their independence and work-life balance. In fact, the Sloan Center on Aging & Work at Boston College says that employers who don't offer a flexible work environment "may find themselves at a competitive disadvantage in recruitment of talent for their organizations."

Sometimes it is hard to offer a flexible schedule: receptionists need to be at their desks at 9:00 sharp, for example. But you may find that many other positions lend themselves to flexibility, and increased productivity plus a happier workforce is a win-win situation.


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Our firm provides the information in this e-newsletter for general guidance only, and does not constitute the provision of legal advice, tax advice, accounting services, investment advice, or professional consulting of any kind. The information provided herein should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional tax, accounting, legal, or other competent advisers. Before making any decision or taking any action, you should consult a professional adviser who has been provided with all pertinent facts relevant to your particular situation.The information is provided "as is," with no assurance or guarantee of completeness, accuracy, or timeliness of the information, and without warranty of any kind, express or implied, including but not limited to warranties of performance, merchantability, and fitness for a particular purpose.
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