Are Flexible Schedules More Valuable Than a Pay Increase?

by Deputy Team, 3 minutes read
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Managers of shift workers are busy. They’re creating schedules, trying to get their team paid correctly, and looking at labor costs. Sure, they want to make sure their team is happy, but where’s the time? And what do shift workers even want?

In a recent survey of more than 1,400 shift workers, two-thirds rank flexibility as their #1 shift work perk.

Read on to learn why flexible schedules can be more valuable than a pay increase — and learn some of the hidden benefits of a flexible schedule you didn’t know your team loves.

What is workplace flexibility?

It’s Tuesday afternoon and your restaurant is hosting a virtual cooking class tonight. While your restaurant is closed to the public, one of your table staff is helping out in the kitchen for the class. But that staff needs to cancel their shift. Can you accommodate their request? And how do you make sure they feel comfortable with the change?

Workplace flexibility can mean a variety of things. From creating a more supportive work-life balance to sharing schedules in advance, flexible scheduling might take on a number of different forms, depending on the needs and structure of your business.

How you can support flexible schedules

As a manager, your day is already packed. You try to leave room for anything that pops up and needs your immediate attention. But are you planning your team’s schedules the same way?

Life happens, and with just a few tweaks, you can better support flexible schedules that keep your staff happy. Here are three tips for more flexible scheduling.

  • Enable staff to swap shifts. If an employee can’t work their assigned shift, they can swap directly with a suitable team member via a smart scheduling app — reducing back and forth with managers.

  • Allow your team to work from any device anywhere. When your team downloads your smart scheduling app to their phone, everything is in one place. Everything needed for employees and managers to run their working life is in the palm of their hand. Plus, your app can capture accurate timesheets when employees use geo-location capture to clock-in.

  • Help your staff pick up extra shifts. If a team member calls in sick, find someone to cover without any hassle. Use your app to offer the shift to all available, qualified staff, send out mobile alerts, and receive an update when it’s filled.

The benefits of flexible schedules

Employees have a lot of reasons for wanting more flexible schedules — including work-life balance, the opportunity for side income, learning opportunities, and the potential for gaining control over their schedules. And as managers, you get some of the benefits, too.

Read on to learn just a few of the benefits of flexible schedules.

  • Better work/life balance. According to a recent Deputy survey, nearly one-third of shift workers said they do shift work because it’s the best option for their personal needs. Your staff might include full-time parents juggling at-home childcare, university students balancing schoolwork, or employees working multiple jobs. Flexible schedules allow your team to work the hours they need, when they can.

  • Increased productivity. When your team is stuck stressing about how they are going to work around their other scheduling needs, they’re not going to be focused at work. The right tools and flexible schedules will help your staff be present when they’re on the clock.

  • Reduced spending. Flexible work arrangements are becoming more than a trend. It’s also a cost-efficient way of keeping a business running. According to Flexjobs, an increase in telecommuting could save businesses and workers more than $700 billion a year, and feeding into that number are decreased absenteeism, reduced turnover, and lower travel and gas expenses. Labor costing can also become a burden. This includes costs associated with employing your staff. Optimizing your schedule and using employee scheduling software can provide tools such as labor forecasting to help ensure you have the perfect amount of staff schedules.

Employers love flexible schedules just as much as employees

The demand for quality, flexible work is increasing. While a global pandemic sped things up, many businesses are already rethinking the rules of the workplace. The idea that every employee needs to work the exact same schedule is no longer the norm. More and more companies are now allowing their employees to work flexible schedules instead.

Workforce management solutions, in combination with open-shift functionality, provide a solution for a better work-life balance for employees and employers. As the workplace relies on smart technology, managers can confidently find the right scheduling software that their employees will use and benefit from it.

By using Deputy’s workforce management software, you can create a work-life balance that works in favor of your business and your employees. To learn more, try out Deputy for free by starting your 30-day trial.