Flexibility means being more productive?

Flexibility means being more productive?
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There are several jobs that a person can do, each of which present with different working conditions. An employer can present rigid conditions which the employee needs to accept without being able to make any negotiations or else, not take the job at all. The traditional nine-to-five job can be a killer for some people as they prefer to have flexibility in when and where to work from. Some might want to work freelance to avoid this from happening, to be their own boss and to set their own working conditions. Nowadays, companies are attuning more to what their employees want to feel happy at their workplace which in return reduces staff turnover. Allowing flexibility is one way of achieving this.

Flexibility allows persons to work around other commitments that they have in their life and therefore work-life balance can be achieved more successfully. It can also lead to experiencing less stress. Driving to work in the mornings or leaving work during rush hour can be a nightmare. Thus, driving when there are less traffic jams can make a person feel less stressed. This is possible if flexibility at the workplace is allowed. Instead of wasting time in traffic, time can be used more efficiently by doing other activities such as; doing some housework or going to the gym before going to work. Thus, the overall productivity of the person increases, not only at work but also in their personal life. Also, we all have optimal times when we function best. Some people work best in the mornings whilst others are more sharp in the evenings. Having flexibility at work means that one can choose to work during those hours where they function best and therefore leading them to be more productive.

Research shows that employees experience positive physical and mental health, are more productive and more engaged when they choose how, where and when they work. A study carried out by Bloom et al. (2013) at Stanford University, showed that workers who had the opportunity to work flexibly from home were more productive as they took less breaks and took less sick leave. Such employees reported to feel happier than those who did not work flexibly and quit less their jobs.

Some employers use the reasoning that as long as their employees get the job done, it does not really matter from where and when they do so. Having such an option allows an employee to balance better the commitments that they have in their life without affecting the quality of the work that they do.

In conclusion, flexibility in the work place such as working from home and having a flexible schedule can lead to more productivity. Not all jobs allow for the same flexibility but nowadays, there are more opportunities that can provide such working conditions.

References

Bloom, N.A., Liang, J., Roberts, J., & Ying, Z.J. (2013). Does Working from Home Work? Evidence from a Chinese Experiment. NBER Working Paper No. 18871

Dr Marilyn Muscat is registered as an Educational Psychologist with the Health and Care Professions Council in the United Kingdom where she trained. She works with children, adolescents and their families to understand more about educational, social and emotional well-being concerns that they have and to help them improve upon their difficulties. She can be contacted on marilyn@willingness.com.mt or call us on 79291817.

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