Flexitime is the latest buzz word in the workplace. The City of Cape Town is calling for companies to introduce flexible working hours to help reduce congestion on the roads. And companies across the country are offering flexitime as a perk to employees.
Like with sick leave, flexitime involves a considerable level of trust. Transparency and trust need to be core functions in the workplace in order for employers and employees to collaborate optimally.
But what is all the hype surrounding flexible working hours? Here are five potential health benefits of flexible working hours:
1. Better health habits
No one knows you better than yourself. You know when you work best, whether it is early in the morning or later in the afternoon. Flexitime can help you synchronise your working hours with your personal rhythms.
People with flexible and adaptable work environments also tend to have healthier habits. You can end up having more time for yourself and enough time to prepare for the next day.
A study shows that people who have control over their work schedule have better mental health, healthier blood pressure and better sleep habits than those with fixed schedules.
2. Lower blood pressure
You will be able to decide on the best time to travel to work and may be able to avoid peak traffic hours.
Studies have shown that rush-hour traffic raises your blood pressure as a result of impatience and increased anger levels.
The polluted air during rush hour contains dust, pollen, soot, smoke, and liquid droplets, which is a serious health risk.
Try commuting earlier in the morning and afternoon to avoid to rush-hour traffic.
3. Less stress
Starting your workday on a stressed note, and leaving the office knowing that you’ll be stuck in traffic again can really put a damper on your mood.
What's more, stress is a built-in part of the workday, depending on the type of work environment and occupation they are in.
If you already have a highly stressful job and can’t avoid the stress no matter how hard you try, knowing you won’t be stuck in traffic at the beginning and end of every day will make a big difference.
When an employer’s focus is on the work that needs to be done and not on the clock, employees can focus on meeting deadlines and producing good and acceptable work, and be more relaxed about time. The luxury of the non-traditional schedule reduces stress.
The Huffington Post suggests giving people space and time away from the office allows them to catch up on other important activities, such as spending time with their families and getting enough sleep. When employees feel refreshed, they’re much happier to come to work.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention employees who feel empowered to structure their work and personal lives and essentially make it more family-friendly are happier and more satisfied.
5. Increased self-worth
When coming to work is about more than showing up at the office and keeping an eye on the clock, more work gets done as you are not as concerned about the time anymore. Employees are not the only people who benefit from flexi-time. Employers can allow their employees to work remotely, especially when it is not necessary for them to work from the office. This is becoming easier as many companies now operate digitally, and communicating with remote employees is a feasible option.
Giving employees the option of choosing their working hours within a given time frame doesn’t mean they don't need to come into the office anymore, but many employees find that it could be beneficial and help them become more productive when they are able to decide when to work. This can increase their self-worth and overall productivity within the company. If employees feel they are doing good, they feel more motivated to continue.
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