Should more employers offer ‘chronoworking’?

Flexible arrangement can change future of work, HR expert says

Should more employers offer ‘chronoworking’?

Should more employers align working hours to employees’ natural body clocks?

A recent survey found that most (87%) professionals believe employers should trial “chronoworking” – where companies allow workers to choose work hours according to their natural sleeping pattern.

Almost half (48%) of professionals feel that their mental health would improve if they worked according to their natural sleeping pattern, and along with all-round better work-life balance, according to a Robert Walters Canada survey of more than 1,700 Canadian professionals.

And 33% feel that they would be more focused and productive in the workplace.

If their company adopted chronoworking, nearly half (49%) of Canadians said early start/early finish would come out on top, followed by alternating between different start and finish times (33%).

Just 9% of professionals say that they would start and finish late or stick to the traditional 9-5.

“What this trend does highlight is the desire for employees to shape their work-life around their personal needs, rather than be dictated to,” said Martin Fox, director of Robert Walters Canada.

Employee benefits of chronoworking

Kim Napeñas, managing partner at Interval Group, which already implements a chronoworking policy, said the three key benefits of the policy are increased flexibility, motivation, and productivity.

"We've seen an overall increase in productivity and job performance from chronoworking, as our employees can plan their working days around their natural body clock and balance their working hours with personal commitments," Napeñas told Moneypenny.

Vit Koval, HR expert and co-founder at Globy, said chronoworking is a "flexible arrangement" that will help minimise lost productive time that is taken up by attempts to concentrate during off-peak personal productivity times, which could lead to work and efficiency that are not of the highest quality.

Koval said allowing chronoworking will improve work-life balance by enabling work hours to fit according to the personal life of the employee.

"For instance, they might encourage a parent who works shifts in conjunction with his or her child's education and schedules to spend ample quality time with his or her family," he told Moneypenny.

"This aspect of flexibility could make the employees feel like they have control over their time and are not losing everything in their private life just so they don't lose their job."

Chronoworking benefits to employers

But the benefits of chronoworking are not limited to employees. Koval said in Moneypenny the arrangement will raise the morale of an organisation and "bring in more employees to the teams needing differences and diversities who may prefer flexible hours of working for their own or health reasons."

"The future of work will change along the lines of chronoworking — more so as technology literally makes ease both remote and asynchronous working," he said. "With businesses going global and their workforces distributed, indeed, demand for such flexible working arrangements can only increase."

Napeñas added that the arrangement will make the concept of a "global workforce" even more a reality.

"Not only will we see employees across the world working more closely in 'virtual teams' based on their chosen working hours, but also employers benefiting from a much bigger talent pool, as geographical/time zone differences become less relevant," she said.

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