Are Flexible Hours The Solution to Reducing Absenteeism During The World Cup? June 16th, 2010, by Ken Buckley

Are you wondering whether your business will be impacted by World Cup fever this month? Do you think that absenteeism and presenteeism won’t suffer in the coming weeks? You might want to think again as experts confirm that the World Cup does impact on productivity.

Absenteeism and presenteeism are increased during major international sport events such as World Cups, Olympic Games, and World Championships.

Many employees/fans call in sick or spend more time than usual on the internet during working hours.

One way to work around it is to offer flexible hours, unpaid leave, and screening rooms in the workplace as recommended in the World Cup and Absence Management guide.

Flexible hours allow your staff to work at times that fit with their personal commitments and that are suitable for your organisation.

By allowing your employees to better manage their work and life commitments, not only do you reduce overtime, unproductive time, absenteeism and presenteeism, but you also increase your staff engagement, motivation, and morale and attract and retain key employees.

In addition to the above advantages, some new evidence suggests that workers who are allowed to add their input into the way their hours are structured experience great health benefits.

“Flexible work seems to be more beneficial for health and wellbeing where the individuals control their own working patterns, rather than where employers are in control,” said Clare Bambra, doctor and author at the Wolfson Research Institute at Durham University in the UK.

Research also suggests that by showing your staff that you care about their interests outside of work, your employees are more likely to go the extra mile for their organisation.

However, there are a few rules to successfully implement and manage flexible hours in your workplace:

1. Trial your options first
Not all flexible work practices will suit your organisation so it’s important to trial them first to see which would work best in practice. Don’t forget to consult your staff to get their feedback.

2. Implement a roster system
The roster should indicate the days and times of work for each team member so that everyone knows who is available and when, and can plan their work accordingly. By ensuring all staff are aware of their colleagues’ working hours, it assists the team as a whole to manage their workloads and stick to the deadlines.

3. Create simple policies and guidelines for flexible workers
The policies should provide employees with relevant information about what options are available, how to request work arrangements and have it approved. It is also critical to provide managers with guidance on how to assess requests from their subordinates.

4. Monitor and evaluate the impact
By monitoring and evaluating the effectiveness of the flexible work arrangements, you can track progress and make adjustments where needed. Set up a feedback survey, not only for your staff but also for your customers and stakeholders, to determine their perception of the impact flexible work has on them.

For more information on Work Life Balance, contact Healthworks on 1300 90 10 90 (International: IDD 61-2-9954-1888 ) and be sure to quote: “post406” for eligibility of Healthworks latest online offers and Corporate Health initiatives.

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