Balancing act: Flexible schedules may lead to lower costs, more loyalty

Published: Tuesday, Nov. 26 2013 8:00 a.m. MST

This is a huge deal for me as a manager, because recruiting new people takes a lot of time and resources. And don't get me started on training. Many of our processes and procedures are specific to the products we build, so the learning curve for new employees can be steep. Keeping the best workers we already have is a better option.

Finally, the FlexJobs survey asked people where they go when they really need to get some work done. Only 19 percent said they go to the office, while 53 percent said they take tasks to a home office in such situations.

"An additional 18 percent of people said that they go to the office before or after regular work hours," the FlexJobs statement said. "These data points should be a major reality check for employers who seem to believe employees work best while at the office surrounded by their colleagues."

Again, this confirms what I've written in previous columns. While time in the office is a necessity to promote collaboration, "collaboration" can sometimes turn into "conversation."

I fully support the notion that coworkers are happier and work harder when they enjoy each other's company and have some time to chat about their lives outside of the office. However, I think we've all known people who take this to extremes, forcing coworkers to take projects home or hide in a corner of the office after regular business hours to finish a task.

As always, I'm interested in your responses to the results of this survey. Other than money, what would you be willing to give up to gain more work flexibility? If you're a telecommuter, has that arrangement made you feel more loyal to your employer? Or have you ever left a job because you weren't allowed a more flexible schedule?

Send me an email or leave a comment with your thoughts about these or other flex-work issues, and I'll share some of your responses in a future column.

Email your comments to kratzbalancingact@gmail.com or post them online at deseretnews.com. Follow me on Twitter at gkratzbalancing or on Facebook on my journalist page.