Is Your Company’s Work Environment Too Flexible?

An increasing number of companies are making a shift to casual work environments with flexible regiments to allow their employees the ability to relieve stress or tend to personal matters during normal work hours so that their focus and production can be utilized when they are ready. This is a shift towards employee-centric companies who want to attract the best and brightest by providing unique company benefits. Workers gravitate towards jobs which allow for time at the gym, bike rides, hiking trails or other daytime excursions which have nothing to do with company time but allow for rejuvenation of the mind. Businesses are relying less on the time clock and more on the productivity of their employees. This generally works well for jobs which rely on individuals as opposed to jobs which need an entire team working together at all times. Flexible work schedules work well for certain individuals, but there are some workers who will take advantage of these opportunities and have a negative impact on the rest of the company.

The trend of moving towards relaxed work environments has much to do with the way technology has shaped the workplace in the past few decades. Information Technology has placed a heavy emphasis on relying on one’s mind to solve complex problems and share creative ideas without the normal tangible results associated with a traditional assembly line model of business. Workers find that the right environment can be conducive to happy workers who are able to generate great ideas. Companies who want the best employees will provide unique benefits to attract workers who have proven to be successful at other jobs, and improved workplace benefits help ensure that workers remain loyal to the company overall. In today’s workplace, it is not uncommon to find bean bags, couches and other lounge facilities to help stimulate creative minds and reduce the amount of stress at work.

In addition to relaxed work environments, some places offer unlimited days off. These workplaces trust their employees to use their own judgment for how much time they can take off while still contributing their fair share of expertise with the company. These types of policies must be able to balance a fine line between who is being productive and who is not prioritizing their responsibilities for the job. Some businesses do not have an official start or finish time and allow their workers to take off any time to tend to personal matters or otherwise be away from the office as long as they are contributing to the company. These workers are expected to get work done on the computer, so much of the work is accomplished after hours when the worker feels most comfortable or motivated to accomplish any tasks.

Some perks cause abrasion that inhibits a team’s cohesion. Someone who shows up on time every day and spends more time at the office than others may feel that they should be more valuable than their slacking counterparts. A team may feel as though they are being let down by certain workers and left with all the heavy work of trying to maintain a centralized work environment. Contacting team members with questions can become unreliable and workers may become discouraged when they must wait for a response from their team mates.

The fact that there are standards for production makes a flexible work environment feasible. Businesses who outline what is expected of their staff allow good employees to remain on their team. Their workers will not lose their job for tardiness or absence, but if they cannot perform at a competitive level, there will be someone else who can fill that position. Remote work environments may seem counterproductive at first, but if employers monitor the work that is being accomplished, they can get a good idea about how valuable each employee is. Accountability is key for establishing trust among remote workers and their bosses, and those who show that they can handle flexible work hours will pave the way for others to enjoy flexible benefits as well.

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