According to a recent survey by Robert Half, a fair number of employers are reconsidering the traditional nine-to-five schedule.
The study asked 2,800 senior managers about flexibility, and 41% reported they give their employees the ability to set their own hours — and 27% of that group didn’t care if workers put in fewer than 40 hours a week, as long as their work got done.
Flexibility like this is much more likely to happen in very large companies (1000+ employees) or organizations that have hybrid teams. This is also common in companies specializing in marketing, law or administration.
Unable to disconnect
However, the study found that all this flexibility isn’t always a good thing. One thousand employees were surveyed, and almost three-quarters said they have so much on their plates they couldn’t work fewer hours even if they wanted to.
Additionally, almost half of employees are unable to disconnect from their work and feel obligated to respond to colleagues immediately — even if it’s during a break or outside of their set work hours.
Many managers don’t realize that giving employees the “freedom” to set their own hours can actually result in them working more, because they have trouble knowing when to log off for the day.
Easing the burnout
So how can higher-ups offer flex time without causing extra stress for employees? Robert Half offered some tips.
- Ask your employees about their workloads and if you can do anything to help alleviate burnout
- Be mindful about scheduling Zoom meetings and offer recordings of the calls for busy employees to review later, and
- Have employees share the hours they’ll be available, and ask others to not make work requests of their colleagues outside of their availability.