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Is flexible working in jobs the way forward?

I read an interesting article this morning about why people may take sick leave! Apparently these days people are doing far more under increasingly pressured conditions so they feel they need more rest.

Frequent bouts of short term illness should also be seen as a sign to employers of low employee moral and bad management within certain teams or departments.

It also said that Mondays are the most common time for taking sick leave with it totalling 35% of all sick leave!!!!

Research has proved that employees who are entrusted to a more flexible working pattern in their jobs are less likely to take sickness and stress related leave! They are also far more likely to perform well and productivity increases considerably!

What do you guys think? Is there any truth in this? - by Neelam
It really depends on the circumstances. For example if you run a shop and open at 9am and your staff only arrive at 10am, this will lead to problems. There are many examples of this especially if you consider the entertainment/service industry. I guess that you refer to mainly office workers? In this case as a Manager myself it is difficult to control people's habits if they are not set in stone. Having working hours gives a good guideline for all staff that work for you. - by Telemarketing
I suppose what this article was referring to was mainly office workers?

In theory you would still give them tasks and deadlines but let them be a little flexible with working hours - not take the out right mickey though!

So flexibility in terms od children and appointments etc... Not you can roll in late as and when you please you know? - by Neelam
I am not at all surprised at this. With the way the economy is going and work pressure becoming more and more no wonder people are constantly taking sick leave and lots of it I might add. The amount of available jobs have decreased but the work load has increased. You are expected to do more with less. I dont condone it when people use sick leave to get away from it all and have a rest. We are all under pressure but lets face it, stress is a killer. Maybe more flexible hours should be implemented like with cartain sales jobs. I am in Sales and I work very flexible hours that gives me the oportunity to cope. I arrange my work around my day. I know it can not work that way everywhere. But we can only dream for an ideal world hey? sn;Funky Monkeythmbp2; - by FunkyMonkey
Flexible hours can be great. I had flexible hours and it was great to know that I could arrange everything and still get my work done.

It would be wonderful if we could all work flexible hours, however you would of course get those people who would take advantage of having a perk like that.

That same person would probably still take of their sick day anyway. They would then of course ruin if for everyone else. :sa - by Trish
I guess in allowing flexibility there has to be some rules! So for example you work 40 hours a week in whatever way you can?

I used to work in this place where you couls arrive between 7-10.30am but no later and leave any time after 2pm! The catch was you had to do your full 40 hours a week and also be in every day unless you had prior authorisation to be off! Basically the office was open 7-7!

Especially if you have children or other commitments I think this can be a great thing you know? - by Neelam
Ours was also something like that, we could start between 7 and 9:30 and finish anytime after 4, as long as we worked all our hours for the week.

A friend of mine could work his hours in when ever he wanted, so if he felt he wanted to work his hours half this morning and the other half during the night, that's exactly what he did. Granted he wasn't in a sales position and therefore had more flexibility. But it would be nice to know that you had that much flexibility to get your work done.

The only rule was he had to get his 40 hours in during the week, anytime from Monday to Sunday. - by Trish
Not to be judgmental or anything like that people wimp out. I look back on working in my 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, and now in my 60s anticipating working into my 90s and I have never felt the pain of 60 - 70 hours some weeks day and night that would require rest. Not that I thrive on working that many hours - today I don't.

And I'm not playing Superworkhero - I'm not an alpha personality - or believe I have any kind of special built-in constitution to withstand the punishment of work. But if there's an excuse to be found people will find it.

And some people are weaker than others and require more rest that's for sure - and their compensation should reflect it.

MitchM - by MitchM
I agree. Not everyone is the same, but that doesnt mean they shud just take off from work on a whim. If they can they should structure their work properly so they can take breaks in between. - by Phoenyx
When I managed three offices for an insurance company across two islands, I had girls who all had kids and suggested to them that if they were going to come in later than 9:00 to let me know so I could get some temporary help in the office. If they had a kid issue, I wanted them to take care of that before coming to the office. All I asked was to "make up" whatever time they lost. This worked throughout the time I managed the office and they were quite productive.

Responsible employees need management and consideration in order for them to give you their all. As long as you can service the public effectively, I think the next consideration is being able to maximize your employees mental attitude. This should be another topic by itsef.. what is a "responsible employee and how do you know?" One thing I did that worked for ME was to never hire anyone who was not working when they applied for work with us.

The other thing I found that worked for ME, was, I gave my employees the mission and asked them to come up with the most effective way to accomplish it. Once that was discovered, over about three months, we made a company manual that we were able to share with new hires.

Aloha :cool: - by rattus58
Spot on Rattus. Flexibility is fantastic but it has limitations on both the employer and employee.

Life has evolved from the average working father and staying at home mother. Illness' now are far more serious and the work pressures have risen with things like mobile phones and internet. No longer can you leave work at work.

I'm not sure if this is common Internationally but in Australia many companies have 'flexitime' which allows customer to take paid time off when they work over time.

It's all about give and take in my eyes. If someone can get their work finished earlier or stays back one day, I didn't mind if they took time off other days. - by MrCharisma
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