The traditional 9-5 work schedule has gone the way of the 8-track tape, with many employers and employees embracing more flexible schedules. Whether that means working from home or simply altering their hours to create a better work-life balance, many people think having a flexible work schedule is a perk with no downside.
On the contrary, working a flexible schedule comes with its own set of drawbacks. Below, we’ll explore some positive and negative aspects of flexible working arrangements so you can address them if and when they arise. You may discover that working your ideal schedule isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
- Pro: You Can Work Just About Anywhere
Having a flexible work schedule often means working from home. However, remote work can be done from coffee shops, libraries, virtual and serviced offices – anywhere with reliable wi-fi. The reality is that as long as you have a computer, a smartphone, and a wi-fi connection, there is no limit to the amount of work you can do outside the office.
- Con: Your Boundaries May Dissolve
Having a flexible schedule might allow you to attend your child’s extracurricular activities, but it might also mean you end up working longer, unscheduled hours instead. For example, your boss allows you to take off early to attend your child’s baseball game but also feels perfectly comfortable calling you at 9 pm to discuss work-related issues.
Of course, your boundaries won’t necessarily dissolve. However, you may find that you have to pay closer attention to ensure they don’t begin slipping away and allowing work to seep into every moment of your life.
- Pro: It’s Less Expensive to Work from Home
If your flexible work schedule allows you to work from home, you will quickly discover monetary savings you hadn’t expected. The money you would have dished out on transportation and meal costs can add up quickly. Your employer will also enjoy savings if you and your colleagues don’t require a permanent office.
- Con: Having a Flexible Schedule can Lead to Procrastination
Without your employer constantly looking over your shoulder, you may be more inclined to put off working. Though it may feel luxurious at the time, this procrastination might force you to work late into the evening, losing family time because you have to catch up.
- Pro: Flexibility Boosts Morale and Employee Loyalty
Employees with a better work-life balance are generally happier and more likely to remain with their company. This sense of satisfaction usually equates to better productivity overall and a reduced turnover rate. As an employer, you will have a more cohesive team capable of optimizing the lessons learned during training sessions and supporting your clients beautifully.
- Con: You May Miss the Social Side of the Office
Studies show that people who work from home are more likely to suffer from depression and isolation. Work isn’t just a place you go to earn a paycheck. Many people look forward to the camaraderie and companionship working with others provides. There’s a lot to be said for those impromptu birthday cakes or end-of-the-week drinks with coworkers. So don’t disregard the social aspect associated with in-office work.
The throughline of this article is that if you’re considering a flexible work schedule, be sure you are willing to accept the disadvantages along with the advantages. Working a flexible schedule isn’t for everyone, so weigh the pros and cons before making a final decision.