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In praise of flex schedules

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in Leaders & Managers,Management Training

People who exert more control over their workday tend to live healthier lives. They have more time for exercise and less stress that’s associated with following a rigid schedule.

In 2007, researchers studied nearly 3,200 employees at a large multinational corporation. Published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, their findings indicate that workers who enjoy flex schedules get more sleep, exercise more frequently and consume a more balanced, nutritious diet.

In some businesses, it’s impractical to let work crews set their own hours. But savvy employers invite employees to submit their preferences for certain shifts and try to accommodate as many of them as possible.

Any steps you can take to provide more flexibility to your employees can boost morale and reinforce a spirit of wellness at work. Permitting staffers to shift their start or end times by as little as 30 minutes or an hour can help them integrate gym visits into their day, miss stress-inducing traffic jams or gain enough time to prepare a healthier dinner.

Loosen the reins

To gauge the need for flex schedules, survey your team. Ask if they think that they can manage their work and personal lives effectively given their current schedule. Find out if they have enough time to exercise daily and whether they report getting adequate sleep.

Employees with flex schedules not only benefit from better health, but they are also more productive. Well-rested workers who eat right and exercise regularly have more stamina and concentrate better on demanding tasks.

While you’re taking the initiative to let staffers have more say over their work hours, don’t neglect your own personal time management. Schedule appointments so that you reserve pockets of downtime to decompress.


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