How Flexible Working Hours Can Benefit Employees 87

How Flexible Working Hours Can Benefit Employees

This is a guest post by Tom Wishart, a Glasgow-based freelance writer. Well-versed in all areas of digital marketing – particularly social media marketing – he has consulted for many businesses within the UK.

Life management can be difficult. The bank, the mechanics, the doctors – all places that have fairly standard opening hours, 9 to 5 (maybe 6 if you’re lucky), Monday to Friday.

This is all well and good, but when you also work 9 to 5, Monday to Friday, fitting in the necessary activities in life can be a challenge.

For those that this affects, you’re in luck. Since the turn of the millennium, more and more companies have been moving towards flexible working hours.

The style of flexi-time can vary from job to job. Some allow you to work an extra hour every day and take every second Friday off. For others, it could mean having a working range – think 7am to 9pm – in which employees can work their contracted daily hours.

The Rise of Flexi-time

The reasons behind the shift from standard working hours to flexi-time over the last 15 years are varied, but they all boil down to one simple fact: our world – and as a consequence, our way of life – is changing. Just as the ITIL certification and business training is moving online, so too is the working day changing.

The initial reason behind traditional working hours was a simple one – keep everyone on the same clock, and all business can be planned for and transacted within the same time frame.

With the advent of the internet and online services, the necessity of having available business hours greatly diminished.

E-commerce sites mean that shopping can be done round the clock, and from the comfort of one’s own home.

Globalisation has meant that businesses – and the employees within them – are working across several different time zones, further reducing the practicality of having a 9 to 5 routine set in one particular zone.

Freelancers and the “gig” industry also have a role in the changing landscape of working hours.

While some could argue that freelancers have been around for years in the form of contractors, the modern freelancer is its own unique beast.

Contractors tend to work on long term projects and contracts; some contractors have been working for the same company for far longer than many of their employees. Their contracts are more fluid and organic; they can change freely along the course of the project, and this is understood at the outset.

Freelancers work leans more towards the short-term – the “gig” industry – with a view to fully-encapsulated contracts. Any changes will most likely incur further costs, and need to be discussed before given approval.

As standard, freelancers have deadlines, not working hours. The method of billing can vary – some contracts may have a total cost, some many require hourly billing rates – but the working methods do not.

As the amount of freelancers within industries grows, the number of employees tied to traditional working hours diminishes. This puts pressure on companies to allow their in-house employees to adopt flexible working hours as they become the industry norm; it also allows employees to work alongside freelancers in an easier fashion.

Advantages to Employees

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Flexible work schedules can benefit employees for the following reasons:

  • Organizational flexibility, allowing you to manage needs and meet your obligations in life.

As mentioned before, life doesn’t always fall into a neat 9 to 5 routine. Being able to choose their hours or shift the working day as appropriate can allow employees to attend fitness classes, pick up and drop off kids from school, go to their doctor’s appointment, or be available for home calls such as deliveries or home repairs.

  • Decreased living costs.

Similar to the above point, allowing employees to choose their own working hours can reduce every day’s costs. Public transport is often more expensive during peak hours, massively increasing the cost of the commute. Starting work earlier may allow parents to pick up their kids straight after school, reducing childcare costs.

  • Reduced burnout and increased productivity.

Giving employees the ability to take time off as required without having to have a lay period can give them the chance to recover from sudden events or simply rest when they are feeling overwhelmed.

Everyone also has preferred working hours; there are morning people and night owls and everything in between. By allowing employees to work periods of the day that suit them best.

Advantages to Employers

Flexible working hours also have benefits to employers as well as employees:

  • Reduced absenteeism.

When no alternative is available, employees may take sick days to meet their obligations. These are often unplanned and can throw a spanner in the works of project planning and logistics. Flexible working hours removes the need for many cases of absenteeism.

  • Attractive working environments.

Companies may notice an increase in the quality of applications they receive for job openings, as flexible working hours are an attractive benefit to any potential employee.

Providing these when your competitors do not will attract the best in the field. This may also reduce staff turnover rates.

  • Extended operational hours.

By giving employees the chance to work later if it suits, employers can offer later opening hours in relevant departments – such as customer service – to customers.

  • Increased moral and commitment to the business.

By giving employees the ability to take greater control of their life management, companies show that they trust and value their employees. This will be returned by employees in the form of higher moral and better productivity.

What do you think about flexible working hours?

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Hunt Down Your Goals and Become Fearless Like a Lion 12

Hunt Down Your Goals and Become Fearless Like a Lion

To be fearless is to dare yourself to think new thoughts, take risks, fail and find the courage to start again.

In order to change, you must face the uncomfortable, because fear is not supposed to run you. Instead, it is a call to action.

We all have fear and we must never let it paralyze our dreams. If 2017 was an unsuccessful year, hopefully, this article will inspire you to take action.

I know how it feels when you are tired of listening to those inner voices of doubt. Slowly, the anger builds up inside. Despite those feelings, you can channel fear and anger in the right way and start to hunt for your dreams. Throughout my life, I felt a renewed hunger and drive to succeed when I simply let go of denial, accepted full responsibility and took affirmative action.

“Everybody wants to eat but a few are willing to hunt”

In today’s cold reality humans do not like to see anyone other than themselves succeed. Most will never take the next step to improve their life or the lives of their future generations to come. We are pushing towards survival of the fittest.

Tell me, when a lion hunts does it care what is in its way? No. The lion is in pursuit because it is relentless.

You must become the king of the jungle. All the things that make up our lives are in intricate balance and you must fight to protect your dreams.

1. Be fearless like a lion.

A lion has no fear of any challenge, so how do I become fearless?

My simple answer to overcoming fear is that I wake up with the burning desire in my heart. The burning desire is created by repeating positive affirmations like I CAN and I WILL.

Hidden somewhere deep down within you, there is that courage to dare yourself.

Ask yourself who is really stopping you? Go out there and let loose and you will learn what great lengths you are capable of going to.

Your first job before you start hunting is to find the fighter within you.

2. Know your limits and then defy them.

You’ve reached a certain limit but just can’t seem to go that extra mile. Once you become fearless, you become limitless.

A mind that is fearless has the urge to take more action and that is where you become defiant. Try your best to understand what you are doing wrong as sometimes it is easy to give up hope. So focus your attention on studying the obstacle in detail.

As you achieve one goal, you have the mental capacity, maturity and experience to face a new challenge. Therefore, your hunger and appetite for more success increase. Keep pushing no matter what and you will eventually break through.

I know for sure it is difficult at first, but now you’ve successfully defied the odds.

3. Think of a plan, visualize it and execute it.

A lion stalks its prey from a distance and seldom charges as it grows closer and closer displaying deadly predatory behaviour.

Never rush to execute a plan as it takes careful selection. Be clear what you want just as the lion calculates timing. 

Visualization is a vital tool to programme your subconscious mind in order to create that bridge of what is non-existent into reality, which is capturing your goal.

4. Be willing to accept failure.

Failures are what propel anyone forward their current success. We can certainly learn from our failures, but our intentions should be to succeed in accomplishing our goals! Failure is then a learning process, not a reason to accept defeat. You are the king, show no remorse!!!

Motivation from Will Smith is perhaps one of my favorites. Here’s one speech:

5. Have a winning attitude every day.

To keep the cycle of motivation in constant momentum you must work hard too.

The winning attitude is created by approaching your life with discipline and putting in the hours of practice.

I like to perform a reflective practice and personal development, which enables me to identify areas where I am falling down and thus need to pay more attention to.

6. Don’t allow criticism to defeat you.

We are afraid what others think of us, what we have or what we are going to do. It is you that must make that self-promise to finish what you started.

Every once in a while, a lion must remind everyone what he is capable of.

You are the king of the jungle. Own it!

***

This article was written by Usman Mahmood. Besides working in the field of science helping patients through genetic testing, his purpose is to empower and inspire people in life with motivational videos, messages, articles, and stories from around the world. He loves to engage creative and ambitious minds on his Facebook page.