Fare Better With A Flexible Work Schedule

   By drodriguez  Feb 20, 2010

For those of us lucky enough to have jobs where we can make our own hours or take off early to pick up the kids from school whenever the need arises may not know just how good we (and our bosses) have it.  New reports on flexible work schedules have been coming out recently and prove that workers who have this kind of flexibility show improvements to their health and perform better on the job.

A recent article from Time magazine reports on new research that focuses on 10 different studies relating to flexible work schedules.  The research study, published in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, shows that employees who were given an opportunity to make their own schedule, like shift their start time for example, saw marked improvement in their health.  Specifically, improvements in blood pressure, alertness, sleep quality, tiredness, and heart rate were seen in the employees who were given flexible schedules. 

Many of these improvements are not just good news to the employee, but employers would obviously benefit with workers who were more alert and less tired on the job.  Employees on this type of schedule also felt a better sense of community within the workplace.  And after studying some 1,600 employees, research shows no negative effects of having a flexible work schedule.

Many are hoping the findings from this research will have some positive effects on the way we work in this country.  According to 2009 estimates from the AARP , less than 1/3 of working Americans have any type of flexible work option.  Scandinavia and the U.K. appear to be ahead of the game where this type of flexibility is becoming more popular with workers there.  The British government recently changed a policy that used to allow parents of children 6 and under to request a flexible work schedule.  Under the new policy, parents of children age 16 and under now have this benefit.

What do you think of the flexible work schedule? 

Do you think this type of schedule would benefit your health and lifestyle?

Make a Comment

jh0816 by jh0816 | DULUTH, GA
Jun 12, 2010

I think this is a good idea. I remember when my husband worked nights until 1am or later and I would have the usual day hours and I was not worth anything first thing in the morning. I loved 10am - 7pm shifts when I could get them.

lughead13 by lughead13 | SCHWENKSVILLE, PA
Mar 18, 2010

I have a flexible work schedule where I can work from home so many days a month. With a 7 month old in daycare, I can arrange my schedule to be present for events...and get the laundry done, bake a batch of cookies for an event. Would like to work from home full-time to be able to better manage my work/family/household chores balance.

babesnhun by babesnhun | Philadelphia, PA
Mar 13, 2010

One of the best thing on earth is working a flexible schedule. I have threee children and now my youngest is a senior in high school and I have been woeking this type of schedule since my first child. Able to be home when they were home from school Or off on days they had off from school worked out as well. Now I have grandchildren and to be home for them is awesome. Way to go flexible schedule! Got my vote!

dee00014 by dee00014 | Wellborn , FL
Mar 11, 2010

I also think a fllexible work schedule would be great people that have a flexible schedule, is very blessed.

MadHatter by MadHatter | Whitestone , NY
Mar 02, 2010

i dont know if this article was a god sent message, but then i just got out of a meeting where we are going to get flexiable hours! i am so happy! now i can get home earlier and get what needs to be done sooner!!!

dy2try by dy2try | Phoenix, AZ
Feb 26, 2010

A flexible schedule is my number one source of job satisfaction right behind medical benefits. I love to work out and a flexible schedule gives me the time to do that.

pjclayton57 by pjclayton57 | Oceanport, NJ
Feb 25, 2010

I love my flexible schedule...I mostly work from home and I am somewhat of an insomniac, so I put in some hours in the wee hours. As long as I get my time in and get my work done, my boss is fine with me working flexible hours!

cybrown551 by cybrown551 | HOOKSETT, NH
Feb 24, 2010

Absolutely, I think that this work schedule would be a superb idea if many companies were to adapt this type of work practice. I feel that they would see such an improvement in attitudes, quality of work and even people attending work more often with less sick call in.

MadHatter by MadHatter | Whitestone , NY
Feb 23, 2010

i would so want to have this, so that i can go back to school without having my boss giving me an attitude about it. but that only happens in a perfect world for me....

ginabear by ginabear | Horicon, WI
Feb 23, 2010

I absolutely agree with having a flexible schedule... luckily with my job I do have that luxury (and an understanding boss). I arrive in the morning anywhere from 8:30 to 9am and then usually don't take a lunch so that I can leave early to get home and pick up my daughter from daycare. On those days where my mother or mother-in-law watch my daughter I have the flexibility to stay later to make up time or to get extra work done. It makes life a lot easier for my family since my husband's job is more time consuming. (Although maybe I should commit like PnutLuv did and actually work my Pampered Chef business to it's full potential - I've been a consultant for 5 years, but only part-time)

SavdByGrace by SavdByGrace | SUMMIT, IL
Feb 23, 2010

Though I'm now retired on disability, when I did go off to work after my children were all in school a full day, I only worked jobs that did allow me to be a mom first. That was my priority. I started out doing private home child care for moms who only wanted to get out to shop or take a class for a few hours a day and did not leave their children all day (promoting what I believed in as well). Later on after my separation when I needed a "real" job, I chose to work at one of the chain drug stores (Osco) where they were very flexible with ones schedule. If report card pick-up or an assembly where my child was performing required I have some time off or adjust my hours that day, I simply requested that before that week's schedule was written. I definitely know that the stress level in my life as a single mom was reduced because I could handle both my home and my work responsibilities without neglecting the other.

Jcbuser by Jcbuser | WINDSOR, CO
Feb 22, 2010

I have a flexible work schedule - it is without a doubt one of the best things in my life, I feel so blessed to be able to work from home. As for the health benefits, it definitely reduces the stress in my life ? giving me (and my family) a better quality of life.

PnutLuv by PnutLuv | Woodstock, IL
Feb 20, 2010

I have a flexible schedule, and it makes all the difference! I have been a Pampered Chef consultant for 5yrs. I make enough money to help out our budget, and I get to pick when I work. I have a 6yr old and a 5yr old and have never had to call in for sick days, Dr appts, school functions, etc. I make more now working 6-8 evenings a month than I did working full time paying for child care. My husband has a fairly flexible job too, he can work from home if needed once or twice a week. It has allowed us to spend more quality time as a family, and I think it allows both of us to completely focus on our work when we're working instead of worrying about what needs to be done at home.

msfriendly by msfriendly | MONROE, WI
Feb 20, 2010

Yes! I think that as long as the work gets done, that's all that matters. I think this is great for morale, stress reduction and employee happiniess. I hope this idea really catches on.

Lusadi by Lusadi | Wasilla, AK
Feb 20, 2010

Absolutely! While it's understandable that some types of jobs do not lend themselves to this, having your police force working flex schedules could get interesting, I think more businesses will likely adopt flex scheduling and more office work is going to trend that way in the future. However, flexible schedules and telecommuting have their own workplace issues. They do reduce stress on employees' and their families; but, they also may reduce the ability to connect with others in your workplace and build those important office relationships.