Flexible hours – an alternative to working remotely

The availability of remote or hybrid working patterns is decreasing

As companies speak more and more about trying to bring employees back to the office, the number of job offers with possibilities to work remotely is gradually decreasing. According to the cvonline.lt job portal, in 2022 the possibility to work remotely was mentioned in 20% of job offers on average, and the average for 2023 is 16%. According to manoalga.lt, 38% of employees could work remotely in 2022 and 35% in 2023.

The possibility to work flexible hours is declining at a very similar rate. According to manoalga.lt, the availability of flexible work has decreased by 2% over the year from 2022 to 2023, from 32% to 30%.

However, the expectations of jobseekers and employees for remote or flexible work are not dropping. Companies that offer flexible working hours and remote work are more likely to attract candidates.

Flexible working hours are more attractive to employees than remote work

According to a CV-Online survey, the possibility of flexible working hours is more important to employees than the possibility to work remotely or in a hybrid way. If employees could choose motivational bonuses, they would give priority to the following 5 benefits:

  1. Training / mentoring / professional development
  2. Friendly colleagues / good working atmosphere
  3. Bonuses, e.g. based on results
  4. Flexible working hours
  5. Hybrid working pattern / possibility to work remotely

Who is interested in flexible work?

According to manoalga.lt, flexible working hours are most common for employees in the fields of translation services, IT, law, human resources, marketing, advertising, finance, management, administration, sales, media and customer service.

Flexible working hours are particularly important for parents and families with young children of school age. University students also tend to look for possibilities to work flexible hours, as they want to be able to combine their studies with work. Freelancers, workers in the creative industries and tech also want to be in control of their own working time for a variety of reasons.

Companies that do not offer flexible hours significantly reduce their chances of attracting these groups of candidates.

Advantages of flexible hours

Flexible working hours allow employees to balance work with their personal life, the needs of their family and other commitments, which in turn reduces stress levels. When employees are not forced to stick to a strict schedule, they can relax and balance their personal and professional lives, they don't feel uncomfortable, they can take care of their families when they need to, deal with emergencies, etc... When employees are in control of their own work processes, they are more satisfied with their job and their employer. Higher job satisfaction reduces the risk of switching jobs and contributes to increased motivation and performance.

In general, people are different and so are their periods of productivity: there are morning people and evening people, so flexible working hours allow people to work when they are most productive. The economic advantages of flexible work are also important – it saves both time and money when you don't have to travel to and from work at peak times.

The flexibility offered by an employer makes it possible to attract and retain workers of different ages, genders and needs.

Threats of flexible hours

While flexible working hours can bring many benefits to both employees and companies, they can also pose some risks, such as the difficulty of managing employees' working time and schedules. There may also be administrative challenges related to payroll accounting, monitoring working time, holiday schedules, etc. If there is no set work schedule and employees work at different times or from different distances, employees may meet less frequently, which may compromise cooperation and teamwork.

It should also be kept in mind that the absence of a clear timeframe and procedure for completing tasks can reduce the efficiency of an employee. It may be harder for employees to focus and work productively. The employer might have doubts about proper remuneration for the work done, and may be constantly distrustful of their employees.

A company offering flexible working hours needs to take into account its ability to adapt to the needs of employees. It should consider the specifics of the business and the job, establish clear flexible working procedures for everyone, and choose the optimal technology to facilitate administrative tasks and ensure efficient communication and good business results.

The CV-Online Motivational Bonuses survey was conducted online between 23 August and 9 September 2023. 1,075 respondents from all over Lithuania took part in the survey.