Give them the gift of time

We discussed in our last post how valuable the gift of flexibility can be for your employees, their productivity, and the overall company morale. But there’s much more.

At the heart of this gift is something everyone wants, needs, and never has enough of in the full-time workforce: time.

Time is the at the core of location flexibility for your employees, because being required to work at a specific location day in and day out means sacrificing a decent chunk of time on top of their actual work hours.

Offering the option for location independence does much more than reduce their commute time, stress, gas and mileage. It actually adds valuable hours (and even days) to their lives. Here’s why:

Allowing them to work remotely means they preserve vacation time.

Maybe two of your employees are married and are traveling across the country for services following a death in the family, and the last-minute booking options force them to deal with hours of layovers or flight delays. If they are stuck at the airport (or several) for hours on end, wouldn’t it be better for their sanity (and for the company) if they could use that downtime to get work done? They could stay in touch and not waste valuable vacation time because they’re able to get hours of work done on their laptop while they wait.

Bonus: they are likely going to be much less frustrated with the situation if your gift has prevented them from using vacation time to sit in uncomfortable airport chairs and eat terrible, overpriced Chinese food (depending on the airport, of course).

This also applies to situations where an employee has to spend a week at the in-laws where there is nothing to do within 60 miles of their one-stoplight town. Vacation time? Preserved. Work? Completed. Boss and employee? Happy.

Allowing them to work remotely means they can preserve sick time.

Sick time has a tendency to build up for people who rarely get sick, but also for people who are so stubborn when they get a bug that they go to work anyway. At first they think they did the right thing and made the boss happy, but in the long run they’ve gotten coworkers sick, extended their illness instead of resting and recovering, and done mediocre work thanks to a foggy head and weakened energy.

They should have just stayed home, rested, and worked from the couch on the important stuff.

There are millions of families who have school-aged kids whose parents both work full-time. So what happens when one kid gets sick and has to stay home from school?

Rock-paper-scissors between the parents. Who has the most sick time? Who doesn’t have a pressing deadline to meet?

(Who has the option of working from home?)

Score one for the parent with the awesome boss who has given them the gift of flexibility (and therefore less stress for the entire family). Plus, they can still get their work done while taking the occasional break for chicken soup, thermometers, cuddles and doctors.

The gift of flexibility has become much more meaningful than the company or employee originally thought.

Clearly, this is a gift that goes both ways.