Various places of employment have different requirements that do not always suit the needs of employees. One element to consider when determining the viability of an employment opportunity is the work schedule. Some employers offer flexible hours while others demand a strict work schedule that may include changes in shifts. Meanwhile, there are times when a flexible schedule is simply a code word for inconsistent pay and inconsiderate bosses who expect employees to be available at all times. As such, employees, and employers, must look at the pros and cons of flexible hours.
For employees, flexible hours can enable workers to focus on other priorities like school and children. This is particularly valuable for part-time employees, who may well just need extra cash while full-time employees can also use an unfixed work schedule to attend to personal needs. On the downside, flexible hours may translate into an unreliable paycheck and/or an overly demanding schedule that overtakes personal lives. In broader terms, an uncertain schedule can be very stressful as changing hours requires greater commitment with less room to make personal plans.
For employers, flexible hours may enable management to cut costs. Requiring all employees to do their jobs at the same time can be impractical or ineffective in terms of productivity versus cost. When employees are needed only at certain points in the day, costs can be cut by sending them home or, should employees need to do work after hours, flexible hours enable them to do their job when required without the need for overtime. Certainly, shift work is customary at many companies, but other work environments may not run as smoothly when all employees try to crowd into the work space.
On the other hand, there might be other costs to employers that need considered. Leaving a building open at all hours can add unnecessary costs and security issues while managers must always be available to support subordinates. This can translate into a need for a larger management staff. Keeping track of all the activities of workers can also create overhead, especially if someone screws up. Meanwhile, changing schedules may reduce the productivity of workers and lead to greater overtime. Additionally, flexible hours might attract lower quality recruits.
With cost reduction representing a far reaching trend in commerce and the service industry emerging as the top job market, flexible hours are becoming more of the norm. This means there are fewer choices for those who find such a dynamic work schedule problematic. Of course, businesses must be careful as well. The benefits and shortcomings of flexible schedules impact employees as well as employers. It is also important for employers to remember the personal lives of employees impact their professional life. Flexible hours may, therefore, be a mistake, or result in a better way of doing business.