I have often struggled with a 9 to 5 job, and the lack of flexibility in the workplace. As I continued on my career path the expectation of being on a salary meant more pressure to work longer and longer hours.
The start-up of my business came with financial risks and months when my services were not required. This meant re-evaluating my business to ensure that I could cover my financial responsibilities during the periods that were not as lucrative as other times.
Here are 7 benefits of a flexible working environment;
1. A better work-life balance. Let’s face it, we all seek the ideal dream of work-life balance, whether it exists or not. Most of us are planning that next holiday to relax, rejuvenate and unwind.
2. Less stress and burnout. Flexible working hours should result in less stress, less sick leave and less burnout in the workplace. Australians are not necessarily taking the benefits of a flexible working environment, and the companies are suffering as a result. Please remember to take those 4 weeks a year annual leave (although personally I believe that we should have 6 weeks annual leave). Choose happiness over stress.
3. Passion for the job that you do. A flexible workplace and hours will motivate employees to show passion in their careers and their jobs. Micro-managing is resulting in the lose of dedicated staff, or at the very least disillusioned employees, who are dragging themselves to work everyday for the paycheck.
4. Less traffic on the roads and less stressful commutes to work. Maybe we could reduce accidents and road rage during what is considered peak hour work traffic. If people are provided the opportunity to work flexible hours, there will be a less stressful commute to the office each day.
5. Happier and more productive employees. It goes without saying that when you treat your employees with respect and allow them to work flexible hours, then this will result in happier, more content and more productive employees. I personally enjoy working after 10 a.m. and have the morning free to enjoy a leisurely start to the day.
6. Less unemployment. Perhaps with flexible working hours, companies could help to reduce the unemployment levels in the country. Casual, part-time and job-sharing would be popular alternatives to the current working lifestyle.
7. Positive effects on health and well-being. Anxiety and depression continue to increase, as people are forced to work hours that do not meet their family and/or personal needs. Quality time with family and friends is crucial for mindfulness. Burnout is a common result of not putting your health and well-being before a career or job. I have now re-assessed my priorities to ensure that I always put my health and well-being before anything else. If you aren’t happy, you can’t make others happy.
There are opportunities for employees to make the workplace a more efficient and productive environment to spend time in. Think of those wonderful ‘hubs’ that are springing up around the country, such as Wotso Workplace. wotsoworkspace.com.au The ‘hubs’ have relaxing sofas, meeting rooms, spaces to hire, kitchens to share, and some even have pool tables and other games. One space I worked in had Friday afternoon drinks with a full fridge and drink cabinet stocked ready to go!
Come on Australia, let’s get on board and live a happier, healthier, more productive existence. You only live once.