Flexibility equals productivity

Written by Caitlin Williams

Want more productive, effective workers? Stop watching the clock! Yup, it seems like freedom and flexibility equals productivity. Who knew?

Giving your employees flexibility over their working schedules and tasks can often result in them being more productive, effective and conscientious. Of course, it depends on the individual worker, and their position and duties – but for the most part, it can be very successful.

If you’ve got an employee who has a list of things to work through and isn’t directly accountable to anyone (e.g. they’re not a customer-facing employee, or not required to regularly work with other members of the team), then why wouldn’t it work if they chose their working hours, or the order in which they completed their tasks?

They might be the type of person who works more effectively early in the morning. If you’ve got them starting work at 9:00am and working til 5:30pm/6:00pm, you might actually be losing them at their most effective. By 9:00am, they’ve probably lost half of their productivity and they’ll spend the first hour of the day trying to settle.

In contrast, if you allow them to start at 7:00am and finish at 3:30pm/4:00pm, they’ll hit the ground running and you’ll end up gaining extra work from them.

In addition to this – if you treat them as adults, and stop watching the clock and noting every time they’re 5 minutes late to work, you’ll often find they’ll make up the time themselves – without asking. It’s usually when an employee feels harassed and watched, that they’ll start to become resentful and make sure they’re working to the exact minute required of them before leaving.

Although it may sound counter-intuitive, by allowing your employees to have a say in their hours, and not watching over their shoulder, it’s entirely possible they’ll end up physically working just that bit longer and more effectively.

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