Would an alternative work schedule work for your business?

July 11, 2022

Small businesses that implement an alternative schedule may do so to improve work-life balance. Some organizations may choose to offer alternative work schedules. This may include shortened work weeks and teleworking when possible. Summer is a popular time for companies to explore other options.

Work-life balance is essential to everyone. During the summer months, longer days and warmer temperatures serve as a distraction. Employees with families have to find care for children. Workers with older children need to keep them entertained. Statistics have shown that productivity decreases during the warm weather season. It is no wonder that studies have shown that projects tend to take longer during the summer months.

Offering alternative work hours during this time frame could be a way to keep employees engaged. It encourages the production of work, as expected.

Additionally, it can help employees distracted or stressed in the summer get an opportunity to relax. Employees value the opportunity to spend a few additional hours with their loved ones.

There are several options for implementing a flexible schedule or a shortened work week.

Some popular options include adding hours to the traditional work day to allow for an additional day off or shortened day. Some organizations will vary this by shortening the workweek to have some employees work Tuesday thru Friday. They will schedule the remaining team members to work Monday thru Thursday to ensure coverage in the workplace to service customers.

Work-life balance may be reached by allowing the employee to spend just a few hours working from home. Employers exploring ways to increase production may be surprised to learn that offering alternative work schedules could increase production! Employees with and without families at home typically appreciate the opportunity to gain more time outside work to relax. Workers that can gain relaxation and enjoyment outside of work are likely to return to the workplace more engaged and focused.

Small businesses should plan appropriately for implementing an alternative schedule by drafting a few policies.

One of the first steps may be to survey employees via email or in person at a meeting. Determine if an alternative schedule is of interest. Brainstorm as a group to determine the best solution for the organization. Encourage planning that addresses customer service. Develop a plan for when employees are on vacation. Have a game plan for weeks that include holidays. Would employees need to be on call on days they can leave early? How would call-offs impact a schedule?

After brainstorming and planning for this alternative schedule, a test run may make sense.

Organizations unsure if this arrangement will work may want to try a trial run. Perhaps the month of August could be a pilot of an alternative schedule. A test run could allow a business to get a feel for how such a schedule would work the following summer. It could help gauge if a different schedule yielded higher production. Small business owners can note any operational gaps before implementing a flexible or alternative schedule for the following year. An alternative schedule doesn’t work for every business; a short-term test run may uncover that.

Policies should be implemented for an alternative work schedule to be successful.

  • Employees should respond to customer inquiries in a timely fashion.
  • Workers should be mindful of absenteeism.
  • The proposed alternative schedule should be presented as a privilege. The privilege of an alternative schedule could be taken away at any time.
  • Businesses should create standards for quality and production if they already have not done so.

The policies could incentivize workers to perform their best to be eligible for this schedule. An alternative schedule could be a great motivator for employees to be productive and engaged. This type of schedule will enable employees to relax. They will be able to enter the workplace with a positive attitude. They will contribute more.

A small business that has implemented a temporary alternative schedule may choose to offer this arrangement permanently.

As businesses are struggling with an employee shortage, they are looking at alternative methods to attract and retain employees. Schedules more attractive to workers could benefit from recruiting and retaining talent without increasing expenses such as wages. Businesses that have successfully implemented an alternative work schedule can include this in job postings to incentivize prospective employees to apply for a position at a company that values work-life balance.

Know that if there is anything that PaySmart can do to help your business make scheduling changes, we are here for you! We offer solutions that include the opportunity to run payroll remotely from any place in the world at any time of the day. We also provide time clocks to help our clients track time.

PaySmart is a payroll provider located in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, supporting small businesses in the Central PA region. PaySmart is dedicated to helping small businesses take care of their payroll needs. To learn more about how PaySmart may provide payroll solutions, please get in touch with us at 717-766-1777. Our New Client Concierge is waiting for you!