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Fare Better With A Flexible Work Schedule

Fare Better With A Flexible Work Schedule

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?

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  • CrystalBurgard By CrystalBurgard
    02.20.10  

    I think a flexible work schedule would be fabulous! I am not working right now because of that very reason - I cant find a job that has a flexible schedule. I need something that allows me to be off work when the kids have a day off from school , but I also need to work around after school activities like dance and gymnastics, plus have an employer that understands when my child is sick, I have to stay home with them. I can see why this schedule has more alert and healthy employees - it takes the stress off of you worrying about those things knowing you can just schedule around it. I Love the idea and hope to see it catch on

  • Lusadi By Lusadi
    02.20.10  

    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.

  • msfriendly By msfriendly
    02.20.10  

    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.

  • PnutLuv By PnutLuv
    02.20.10  

    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.

  • cleanliving By cleanliving
    02.22.10  

    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.

  • SavdByGrace By SavdByGrace
    02.23.10  

    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.

  • ginabear By ginabear
    02.23.10  

    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)

  • MadHatter By MadHatter
    02.23.10  

    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....

  • cybrown551 By cybrown551
    02.24.10  

    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.

  • pjclayton57 By pjclayton57
    02.25.10  

    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!

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