Forty-one percent of senior managers give employees the ability to choose when they work, according to recent research from talent solutions and business consulting firm Robert Half. And 27 percent of those respondents do not mind if their direct reports put in fewer than 40 hours a week, as long as the job gets done.
Managers most likely to offer flexible schedules work in:
- large companies with 1,000 or more employees (44 percent),
- marketing (48 percent), legal (42 percent) and administrative (41 percent) departments, and
- hybrid teams, where some employees work in the office and some work remotely (45 percent).
Barriers to enjoying the benefits. While some employees may have complete autonomy over their schedules, that doesn't mean they are slacking off—or reaping the rewards. Despite the newfound freedom, in a survey of more than 1,000 workers:
- 72 percent say they need at least eight hours a day to get their job done.
- 43 percent report attending more video calls now than six months ago. Employees overall feel more than one-third of time spent in these meetings is wasted.
- 48 percent never completely disconnect from work during business hours and feel obligated to respond to messages and requests immediately, even during breaks.
“While managers are increasingly embracing flexible schedules, they don't always have full insight into their team members' responsibilities and workloads,” said Paul McDonald, senior executive director at Robert Half. “When employees have too much on their plates, the option to work anytime can create more stress than relief."
McDonald added, “Everyone plays a part in combatting the pressures of an 'always-on' culture. Workers should speak up when they feel overwhelmed and set boundaries. And leaders should promote wellness policies and programs, be empathetic to their employees' needs, and bring in extra support when possible.”
From WCI's HR Answers Now ©2021 CCH Incorporated and its affiliates. All rights reserved.
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