Some companies are using flexible work schedules to help keep work flowing while maintaining current staffing levels. For the employee, a compressed work schedule offers many benefits that make flexible scheduling attractive. There are cons in the arrangement that an employee and employer should consider before making the decision on a compressed schedule.
The employee gains the benefit of long weekends or additional days off during the week. The compressed schedule allows the employee to complete their full-time schedule in less than the traditional five-day work week. Shifts of 10-12 hours accomplish this goal. A business that has an adequate staff to rotate days off can accommodate this schedule without any downtime in production or operation of the business. Various shift schedules can be arranged with a four-day work week to give employees a long weekend and additional time off.
One of the drawbacks of a compressed work schedule is the longer work days. Employees must become accustomed to working an additional two to four hours every day during their work week. Most employees are able to adjust to the new work schedules, but some employees may find the longer days difficult to work in their personal life. Babysitting schedules for working parents might cause a 12-hour workday to be impossible to manage. Medical conditions may also prevent some employees from staying on the job for longer hours.
A compressed work schedule allows employees to be more flexible in their free time. Devoting five days, every week to a job only leaves the weekend to run errands and attend to household chores. The extra day helps employees schedule some rest and relaxation along with their chores and errands. A day off during the week also gives the employee the opportunity to schedule doctor’s appointments on a weekday when they are off.
Employee fatigue and safety concerns increase with longer working hours. According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, there is a greater risk of heart attack and illness from longer working hours. This affects both the employee and the employer. Safety issues and lost production from employee fatigue costs the employee their health and the employer profit. Industries, such as healthcare and transportation, have imposed work and rest schedules to prevent accidents and employee fatigue.
When the schedule of work and rest is managed properly for employees, companies see an increase in production without adding another shift to their work schedule.