How the Standard Workweek Is Being Challenged

Best Practices, Employees

The standard workweek is falling apart. Flexible work arrangements (FWAs) are on the rise, and the traditional 9-5 routine is being challenged by generations who want (millennials) and need (gen. X) more flextime. Forty-five percent of millennials tend to choose work flexibility over pay; many are going the freelance route to facilitate this.

If your company is looking to attract millennial and gen. X talent, try introducing some of these flexibility perks to show that you’re more nimble than the average office. Not every company can offer an infinite amount of time off, but there are definitely ways to make any workplace more flexible.

Paid Time Off for Volunteer Work

Currently, only 20% of employers offer PTO for volunteer work to their employees. Hopefully, this perk will become more widespread as employers see what a good volunteering policy can do for them. Millennials specifically are looking to engage more with their communities, and non-cash donations are becoming more popular among employers as well. Having a volunteer program could also boost your brand with more charitably-minded applicants in the future.

Telecommuting

The benefits of telecommuting are well-documented. Letting your employees check in from home increases their productivity by about 13% on average, boosts their happiness 9% over that of their non-telecommuting counterparts, and it can save you about $11,000 annually.

Telecommuting boosts morale and prevents employee turnover as well, because many workers are more likely to try to make their specific arrangements work if they’re able to work from home a few times per week.

It’s always better to work face-to-face with your colleagues when it comes to moving projects and daily tasks along, but we don’t live in an ideal world or work in ideal environments. Telecommuting is one of the best ways to reach a compromise.

Shortened Workweek

More time at work doesn’t always mean more productivity. Google CEO Larry Page has mentioned the idea of a four-day workweek before:

“Most people like working, but they’d also like to have more time with their family or to pursue their own interests. So that would be one way to deal with the problem, is if you had a coordinated way to just reduce the workweek. And then, if you add slightly less employment, you can adjust and people will still have jobs.”

Working more doesn’t guarantee that a person will do more work. In fact, we reach our peak productivity when working around 30-35 hours per week. Working overtime, then, can actually mean that people are not working as well as they should. More employers could do with cutting back their hours and focusing on ways to optimize shorter workweeks. Plus, when employees find out they’ll be spending less time in the office, it’s likely that they’ll be happier — as long as they are compensated appropriately!

The Results-Only Work Environment

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