Juan Imaz en HR Manager, Entrepreneurs, Directores de RRHH Co-Founder and Chairman • beBee 26/5/2017 · 5 min de lectura · 5,4K

6 Benefits of Flexible Working Hours for Start-Ups

Entrepreneurs are faced with the difficult decision of having a fixed or flexible work schedule for their employees. The digital age has brought with it the option to work from anywhere. Remote working and flexible hours are tomorrow’s norm. Internet connectivity and collaboration technology has allowed us to work from anywhere while still working on the same documents and still working in a team. Entrepreneurs must weigh the real benefits of flexible working hours to see if they will be of benefit for their business.


“If you’ve got development centers all over the world, you’ve got a sales force out with the customers, the fact that tools like Skype [and] digital collaboration are letting people work better at a distance—that is a wonderful thing.”
Bill Gates, Founder and Technical Advisor at Microsoft

Flexible work schedules are currently in high demand by employees worldwide, so should your startup start offering your employees flexible hours? There are plenty of advantages of offering flexible hours be it through allowing workers to choose the time period they would like to work, allowing to combine shifts, change days or telecommuting. 6 Benefits of Flexible Working Hours for Start-Ups


Here are 6 benefits of flexible working hours for startups


There are many advantages of offering flexible hours for both employers and employees. Startups have much to gain from adapting the flexible working hours but this change comes with a variety of challenges which you should bare in mind before making the jump to offer flexible hours. There must be time control, results must be managed, you must be results orientated with objectives that need to be met and there should be control over the movements and work. While being aware of the changes, companies should embrace the benefits of flexible hours and support the desire of the employers who are demanding flexible hours.


1. A more productive workforce


By allowing employees to choose the hours that they prefer to work, means that they will be productive during their chosen hours. Employees are able to focus on their work through leaving their personal matters aside for the hours that they have chosen. ¨It is a well established fact that flexible work conditions spur creativity & innovation, and actually enhance productivity.¨


By having IT and HR work together to maintain control over the hours worked in the flexible schedule, the workers can enjoy their most innovative, motivated and energetic hours at work to reach maximum productivity. These flexible hours allow employees to purely focus on their tasks at hand be they personal or professional. This parting of work and life allows workers to feel more relaxed, focused and refreshed. Productivity increases as mental health improves through the freedom of deciding and prioritizing one's own schedule.  


Agile working helps startups in the speed of development and success as workers are able to work flexibly and also remotely. Flexibility allows startups to keep up to rapidly expand globally as workers are able to work in the hours they feel will benefit their work the most, which in return reflects as higher productivity for the company. Lloyds Banking Group found that ¨66% of line managers and colleagues considered that flexibility improved efficiency and productivity.¨


Higher productivity means higher revenues, more clients and a brighter future for startups.


¨63% of managers linked a growth in revenue directly to flexible working practices,¨
Regus


2. Happy employees


Not only are flexi hours an employee value proposition but they make employees the happiest. Workers are more relaxed, feel free, feel duty and responsibility to the company and as a result feel more happy. Overall employee satisfaction is increased as well as the improved health and wellbeing of employees. The happiness from having flexible hours often filters into the social life of the workers as well as the public creating a better image of the company.


Workers are more loyal to companies if they are given flexible working hours because they are more happy and have a better relationship with the company. Workers are able to manage their own time and have more responsibility.


Workers that have time to do the things they like, socialize with those that they want to and make time when they want are more happy in their life and are more committed to the company employing them. Workers that get the freedom to do and achieve their personal interests are more happy in life and also this reflects at work.


Happiness is reached through flexibility in the psychological feelings of the workers. They feel more motivated, achieve higher results, perform better and are more satisfied. Overall better mental well-being can lead to clearer thinking, better strategizing, prioritizing, focusing, motivation and performance. Carrying out tasks in a better state of mind will not only make the tasks easier, but faster and better results can be obtained. This level of positive mental and work achievement can lead to further positivity from personal happiness in achieving personal goals. Positive feedback also completes the cycle to further our happiness and motivate us to continue to develop in the position and company.



¨When startups focus their HR on work productivity as opposed to watching the hours, there is an increase in good work, innovative ideas and meeting work deadlines.¨
Javier Camara Rica, CEO of beBee


3. Work-life balance


Flexibility allows your employees to have a balanced work-life. Companies benefit from the enthusiasm and energy that workers bring with them when they get to decide how they want to manage their work-life balance. Employees can attend to their personal obligations, family plans and other activities in their life.


With energetic workers companies get to see hard-working employees as opposed to workers who are fatigued, tired or faced with personal obligations during work time, reducing their work effort and achievements.


Workers can schedule the things they like doing around their work. They can make time and enjoy what they like. Workers can take up classes at different hours, run errands, make family time and plan for unexpected events without losing work time. Companies benefit from this as employees are more motivated and positive.


If we consider some normal examples such as having to go in person to deal with an official matter, going to the hospital, seeing a relative, meeting friends, having a sport or hobby or more during the week we often have to decide between work or our personal life. We often feel that we shouldn’t have to make a decision between having to choose between personal or professional because there should be a way to have a balance so that we could do both. A flexible schedule allows employees to achieve just that while the employer maintains the same amount of hours from the worker. Both sides are benefiting.


As part of life, the addition of children also puts restrictions on your schedule if it is fixed. A flexible schedule allows you to drop off and pick up yours kids when necessary as well as go to important events that they may have. Again by having this flexibility you are able to give your children the love and care they need and also the attention and focus your job requires. There is no hard decisions, it is a balancing act where the company is allowing you to manage your time as you require in order to achieve the best on both sides.  


“We like to give people the freedom to work where they want, safe in the knowledge that they have the drive and expertise to perform excellently, whether they [are] at their desk or in their kitchen. Yours truly has never worked out of an office, and never will.”
Richard Branson, Founder and Chairman of Virgin Group

4. Accomplish the highest results by allowing employee time management


Allowing your employees to work when they are able to accomplish most allows for higher engagement and better motivation. Employees can choose hours at which there is less traffic and travel time to come to the office which allows for the best results. Workers are able to work at their peak energy and motivation times. Workers won’t be fatigued, tired or unmotivated at coming to the office at hours that they don’t agree with. By allowing your workers the freedom to choose the hours they want to work in a flexible hour frame, they feel motivated, a sense of freedom and happiness.


Working during hours that the workers can achieve the most motivationally and energy wise allows for the best results and achievements of the company. This is particularly important in a startup where energy and innovation is needed to boost the company and for development.


Workers also feel a sense of responsibility, authority and duty to the company when they have to manage their own schedules. This in return is positive mentally and has a positive effect on their work.


¨At beBee we achieve the highest results when we allow flexibility and empathy in employee time management.¨
Javier Camara Rica, CEO of beBee


5. Better morale, reduced turnover and cost effective

Flexible working hours create a better morale and atmosphere in the office. In a startup maintaining a great atmosphere and rhythm is important for the company's survival. Without workers the company can’t function. Workers are the company's key assets and talent behind the scenes. By retaining talent through better morale there is a reduced turnover.


By paying your workers for the hours they work as opposed to a fixed schedule where they were late or absent means that you are getting your money’s worth. Workers won’t have the possibility of being late or tardy and absenteeism will result in having to make up the hours. Flexible hours are very cost effective for the employer in this sense. Employers pay for what they get as opposed to paying for excuses and laziness. This also helps company morale and workers to work together in being positive and innovative during the time they are in the office and won’t waste time explaining their excuses as there will be no room for that.


¨Thirty-three percent reported having left a job, and 14 percent said they’ve considered leaving one because they didn’t have access to flexible work options.¨ As statistics prove, a flexible schedule is desirable by employees and in the interest of the employer to reduce turnover and to increase company morale. For a company willing to adapt flexibility and take a step in the modern work environment direction, flexible hours are a must. Startups which aim to be modern, current and relevant need to be appealing to their workers and in order to retain their workers they must offer flexible hours.


Workers will feel reliable and responsible to commit to the hours that they have agreed to and to accomplish them in their chosen time frame to achieve the most. This is positive for startups to maintain morale, retain talent and to be cost effective.



6. Attract the best talent


By providing workers with what they are looking for in a job you are able to attract the most qualified candidates as you are offering what they want. The best talent will have the best options and choices and will not settle on outdated approaches to working hours. This is particularly relevant for startups in the IT sector as teleworking, flexible hours and company perks are often offered.


Employers need to understand what other companies in the market are offering workers and to offer something different, what is wanted by the workers and how companies can retain talent. ¨if a business is able to offer a better, more agile environment for their staff, both talent retention and productivity are sure to increase



“Technology now allows people to connect anytime, anywhere, to anyone in the world, from almost any device. This is dramatically changing the way people work, facilitating 24/7 collaboration with colleagues who are dispersed across time zones, countries, and continents.”
Michael Dell, Chairman and CEO of Dell Corporation

Growing trends in flexible working hours and the increasing unattractiveness of fixed working hours has led to US trends of flexibility at the workplace. Workers, leaders and talent are looking for flexible companies where they are able to put forth their talent and work when they are most productive, motivated and energetic. ¨ 53 percent of workers prefer to work from home. In the United States, 38 percent of employees say they are able to work from home at least one day a week.¨


In order for startups to scale they should respect and adapt to the needs of their workers. To reap the benefits, entrepreneurs need to understand and analyze the strategy behind flexible hours for their startup. To achieve goals and develop you need motivated and enthusiastic staff who are loyal, committed and energetic when at work. To avoid wasted time, employees are better in deciding their best working hours to achieve maximum output.


Share your work schedules, stories and methods on beBee. At beBee you can find other professionals who can share their views on flexible working hours from a professional and social viewpoint. beBee was created so that you can use it as a publishing platform to voice your professional and personal experiences with others who share the same interests or hobbies. At beBee we also have flexible hours and hope that our users can enjoy the benefits from our hard work in maintaining and developing our innovative publishing platform.


Great article here

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Robert Cormack 27/5/2017 · #13

Companies that reject flex-hours are a bit of an anachronism, much like publishers still demanding manuscripts be sent by hard copy (with self-addressed envelopes). As a freelancer for 25 years, I only dealt with one client (agency) requiring me be on site every day (the president didn't trust anyone). Trust is really the issue here. If you're insisting that everyone be on-site, working traditional hours, etc., you actually lose something in the process. Good thinkers are working around the clock. They construct ideas, notions, strategies even in the shower. Imagine going from this environment to being forced into an office (and a cubicle) each day. The noise is deafening and so much time is wasted with chatter and silly "requirements." If Gates is serious (Microsoft still requires staff to be on site), he should show by example how effective letting people work in their own environments (on their own hours) can be. My best working time is 4:00 am. Between then and 9 o'clock, I accomplish more than a week in an agency. Thanks for the post @Juan Imaz. Very interesting.

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David B. Grinberg 26/5/2017 · #12

Juan, I also want to add per point #6 that studies and anecdotal evidence show that more Millennials view work autonomy as a non-negotiable job criteria. Moreover, Millennial workers are in high demand and will soon comprise the majority of the global workforce compared to other age groups, especially as Baby Boomers and GenXers increasingly retire. I also assume that Gen Z -- the younger cohort of Millennials -- will also demand flexible work options as a prerequisite for considering any job offer. Although most members of Gen Z are still in high school, the oldest members of this demographic are starting to graduate college and embark on their first professional jobs. Therefore, flex work is a major incentive to them as well.
Thus, it's important for employers to recognize why flex work makes good business sense from the standpoint of recruiting, hiring and retaining the best available talent, particularly among a new generation of young people. Employers who ignore flex work options do so at their peril, as talented applicants will be hired by the competition. On the employee side, it's critically important to remember that with increased work autonomy comes increased accountability and trust by management.
Thanks again, Juan, for a terrific and timely read. FYI - here's another buzz I wrote about an emerging flex work management model: Results-Only Work Environments (ROWE) https://www.bebee.com/producer/@dbgrinberg/new-work-paradigm-for-millennials-gen-z-is-results-only

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David B. Grinberg 26/5/2017 · #11

Kudos, Juan, on another brilliant buzz full of important insights and astute advice. I've been a long-time proponent of work flexibility because, put simply, it just makes good business sense in today's fast-evolving mobile, digital and virtual high-tech workplace.
Thus, I hope employers take note of the business benefits you point out of allowing flexible work options for employees -- which, as you note above, increases engagement, productivity, morale, job satisfaction, and company loyalty (among other things).
FYI, here's my buzz from June 2016 on the Top 10 reasons why telework makes good business sense https://www.bebee.com/producer/@dbgrinberg/top-10-reasons-why-telework-makes-good-business-sense-in-the-digital-age

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John White, MBA 26/5/2017 · #10

364 tweets scheduled. :)

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Matt Sweetwood 26/5/2017 · #9

Quite frankly this is at the heart of why most people, including myself, would chose to work for a start-up. After having run a company that operated for 12 hours a day, 7 days a week, I wanted a job that afforded me the time-space to be creative in way that was better for me. A traditional CEO role at a traditional company would simply have me in the same grind I left when I sold my business. beBee offices are in a Wework in New York which is filed with start ups. The flexibility of work hours can be seen on the faces of people walking around there. They are happy, they socialize more and just seem way more creative. This is a great post, sharing... @John White, MBA @Virag Gulyas

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debasish majumder 26/5/2017 · #8

nice share @Juan Imaz! enjoyed read and shared. thank you for such enriching post.

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thank you, start-ups will be grateful for this post!

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