27th January 2016
Recent study in a Fortune 500 Company Proves the Benefits of Flexi Timing beyond Doubt
A recent study conducted by MIT Sloan School of Management & the University of Minnesota has proved beyond doubt that flexi time options increase job satisfaction among workers. The workers who used the flexi work time option reported to be feel less burned out and happier compared to the employees who did not participate in the study. This study is significant for the employers around the world. In India, many companies have begun to look at flexi timing option. Companies in India are using flexi timing options to ensure retention of good employees, specially the young mothers who had to earlier leave their job midway. In the absence of flexi timing policies businesses are losing a lot of good talent. Its practice not only makes good business sense but is also good for the society.
The study by MIT Sloan professor Erin L. Kelly and University of Minnesota professor Phyllis Moen divided the employees of a Fortune 500 company into two separate programs and observed them for a full year before reaching any conclusions. About 350 employees out of a work force of 700 participated in the programme with flexi timing elements. This group was encouraged to choose their timings, attend fewer meetings, work from home and use modern technology tools to communicate when necessary. The focus of the message to employees was to increase their control over work and life balance. The managers were encouraged and trained to support the employees in maintaining a better work life balance. Some were already doing it but they too realized the importance of being more vocal about it. The other group continued to work on a 9 to 5 schedule. It was business as usual for this group.
At the end of the year the researchers conducted a survey among the workers about burn out, satisfaction from their job and stress levels. The key finding was that the group with the flexi timing elements reported an increased job satisfaction and reduced stress and reduced psychological pressure of work with low burn out.
Modern technology has reduced the time and space constraints associated with the old system of 9 to 5 so the organizations can change the way they work. The demand for flexible work schedules will only rise with the increased traffic on the roads and increased trend of nuclear families.
Use of modern technology to collaborate with teams located across the globe has been in practice in the IT industry since a long time. Processes and systems have replaced the old ways of controlling and monitoring people. Seminars are being replaced by webinars and there is a generation which is has no idea of a world when there was no internet and there were no smart phones. The modern work force is tech savvy and is already using web based verbal and text systems like Skype. It's time for the organizations to change their ways of working too.
Most of us would recall the advertisement with a young boy with a lap top being mocked by the older generation only to discover that the young boy was actually an investor who operated out of a lap top. It would have been unimaginable just a couple of decades back to think of virtual offices and virtual businesses but today they are not only a reality but are the star attraction for investors due to their asset light models.
Flexi timing reduces wastage of space and time. It helps in hiring and retaining the best of talent and it increases productivity too so it is only logical that more and more organizations will adapt it as a policy.
Founder of Fortune Architect
Managing Director- Asia Pacific & EMEA Markets with Saviour US INC
Respected HR Leader
CHRO, LANCO INFRATECH LIMITED
Executive Director-HR & Admin, Experion Developers
Managing Director, UK Fostering, Founder, UKINDO International & CharityWorld.com
Promoter & Director, Rockland Hospitals Network, Delhi
Vice President & HR Head- India/SA at IBM HR Consultant
Founder and a principal consultant with People Talent International
Mr Chauhan has held leadership roles in HR at leading multinational companies
COO & Co-founder of Round Ark Limited, Gurgaon
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