Small businesses can take advantage of the economic benefits resulting from telecommuting programs and flexible time scheduling (also known as flextime) for their employees. The use of these work scheduling alternatives can bring your company improved employee performance and reduced costs.
Flexible Work Scheduling Benefits Businesses
A 2012 study published by the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management disclosed that, despite previous concerns as to whether the use of flextime offered any benefit to businesses, implementation of flextime did appear to have positive effects on the bottom line. When cost cutting was the primary goal of the flextime program, it had a negative impact on profitability. However, when the flextime program was aligned with an employee-centered strategy, flextime had a positive impact on profitability.
In addition to the most frequently cited benefits to businesses allowing flextime there are countless other advantages, such as:
- The ability to schedule work across specified portions of the day.
- The ability to recruit and retain valued staff who have other life commitments or interests.
- More efficient use of business equipment and facilities, such as desks and computers.
- Manageable continuity and staff coverage by one employee while another is away.
- Fewer parking spaces are necessary at office buildings that charge for each spot.
For example, Grant Thornton established its own flex time off policy specifically for employee recruitment and retention.
Advantages of Offering Part-Time Work From Home
Telecommuting and remote working programs offer employees the opportunity to conduct some or all of their work from home. While telecommuting programs provide similar benefits to businesses as those available from flextime programs, telecommuting offers unique advantages.
Remote workers do not experience the usual distractions found in an office. Meetings held by way of videoconferencing usually take place at the time originally scheduled and they do not require travel time. In-person meetings often experience delays when a participant gets stuck in traffic. Remote workers have more time to spend on actual work because commuting is unnecessary. Remote workers are more productive because they feel trusted by management.
Consider some of these other benefits of having a telecommuting program:
- Employers have access to a greater talent pool because distance from the office is not an issue.
- Telecommuters typically use their own equipment, saving the company that expense.
- There is a lower turnover rate among remote workers.
- Telecommuters have fewer sick days.
Utilize Cloud Computing for Remote and Flextime Workers
Cloud computing makes it easier for small businesses to manage telecommuting and flextime workers. Using a cloud-based platform allows remote workers to access and complete work assignments from any location. Their completed work is immediately available to you in the cloud, where you can edit or augment the finished product.
For example, using QuickBooks Online with the Aero Workflow app lets you integrate tasks with the resources your remote workers need to do their work. Aero Workflow syncs time-tracking entries to your QuickBooks file, so you can easily add them to an invoice or send them to payroll.