The freedom to fit your career around your personal life schedule seems like a goal for many people who work especially in a traditional office structure. Our survey on millennials and the digital marketplace showed that a growing number of employees prefer to work flexible hours to achieve a better balance between their jobs and personal lives.
Especially in Ghana where flexible working is gradually becoming a trend, others contest the idea of flexible working hours because of a number of off-putting myths.
Let’s take a look at some of these myths and why you should disregard them;
Myth #1. Flexible Work Always Involves Working from Home
Working flexibly isn’t simply working from home all the time. It covers a wide variety of options and can be anything outside of a standard Monday to Friday, nine to five arrangement. Forms of flexible working include:
- Part-time work
- Compressed hours
- Different reporting times
- Working from home for part of the week
- Career breaks/sabbaticals
- Varying leave entitlements
With all these advantages, it’s no surprise that businesses have started changing their offices to suit more flexible workers by providing employees with the necessary tools to facilitate flexible working such as laptops, internet services.
Myth #2. Flexible Working Isn’t Productive
You may have heard that flexible working isn’t as productive as the more traditional methods of working in an office. But this couldn’t be further from the truth as per our report on millennials and the digital marketplace, where only 6.4% of respondents voted to work remotely. This was due to the lack of certain work tools such as internet connection. But, in recent times, more employees request for flexible working because they are now realizing the benefits for themselves and the employer which include:
- Increased motivation and productivity
- Better staff retention
- Higher customer service levels
- Reductions in transportation costs
- Fewer carbon emissions (working from home and less staff in the building is great for the environment too)
Myth #3. People Who Work from Home Don’t Do Any Work
Of course, business goals cannot be achieved when employees are home watching daytime TV in their pants and playing games on their laptop. But suggesting that this is what home workers get up to is a misconception.
Flexible working only succeeds if employees manage their time effectively while at home and put in the necessary hours. Even when the worker is in the office for a whole 8 hours, time management is key to meeting targets.
Many people are afraid to negotiate for flexible working from home because they think if they are not in the office, their boss won’t think they’re working. However, most people’s contributions are measurable, and even more so now with the development of collaborative IT tools and ‘always-on’ technology. Such innovations enable staff to work to continue running smoothly whether you are in the office or working from another location which makes it easier for management to monitor performance.
Myth #4. Working from Home Induces Boredom
Many people oppose working from home because they believe it will make them feel lonely and isolated. However, thanks to technology, this need not be the case as it’s now possible to have regular online meetings and establish other day-to-day working links to enable remote workers to stay very much in touch.
Online tools like Skype and Slack provide a touchdown point where remote workers feel part of the office and reminds everyone that the team includes people who aren’t always there face-to-face.
Myth #5. It’s Only Useful for Parents
Although it can be particularly appealing to parents with children still in school or couples looking to start a family, flexible working is actually viable and an increasingly popular option for any employee at any stage in their life.
Individuals increasingly want to have more say in when and where they work, while customers want services and products to be available at times when they want them.
Jobs don’t always have to come at the expense of time with family, learning a new skill outside of work or being packed like sardines onto a rush-hour train. Consequently, flexible working is a fast-growing trend.
Do you have any more myths you have believed over the years? We would like to hear from you.