Yesterday, the Philippine Senate has approved the Alternative Working Arrangement Act, which will allow employees to do away with working eight hours a day, five days a week, and instead craft a “mutually agreed voluntary work arrangement” with their employer. Basically, this bill will allow flexible working schedules and working from home—arrangements that some companies have already implemented.
According to Sen. Joel Villanueva, author and sponsor of the bill, the proposal is a solution to the changes in the labor market and in the ever-evolving nature of employment.
“As I always say, we are now in the age of robotics, the so-called Fourth Industrial Revolution or Industry 4.0. Today, work need not be confined in a certain place or office. Work need not happen at the same time. Work can be done remotely,” he said. His original bill states that “compressed workweek arrangement will not only reduce cost of work transit, but will also enable employees to allocate more time for other personal and social obligations, thus further promoting work-life balance.”
But does this arrangement really work for the benefit of both the employee and the employer? Here are three advantages of implementing a flexible working schedule:
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Increased employee morale and engagement
The biggest reason why employees desire a flexible working schedule is for them to achieve a healthy balance between their work and personal lives, which is hard especially for students or parents. When employees have a healthy balance between work and leisure/personal life, they are happier and feel more fulfilled, bringing an increase in engagement, commitment, and productivity.
Help reduce absenteeism and tardiness
Studies show that when employees have a say in their work schedules or are given a chance to make alternative work arrangements, they will show up to their job on time. A flexible schedule greatly reduces the chance of unplanned absences and tardiness. While it is understandable that employers fear that employees may abuse the leniency in schedule, the former should be assured that the latter would have a high regard for the bosses because they respect the need for a healthy work-life balance.
When employees are happy and satisfied, there is an increase in productivity because they are able to focus more on work and not on the stress of rushing to the office every morning then battling rush-hour traffic to go home at night. The reduced stress levels will then translate to more employee engagement, happiness, and better health. Plus, the more engaged and happy workers are, the more they are less likely to seek employment elsewhere.