Scheduling is one of the areas that is often overlooked as a strategic resource that could help companies to gain an advantage. However, many studies are showing that when work schedules are aligned with employees’ circadian rhythms, employees produce higher quality work at faster rates, whereas when they are sleep deprived they are more likely to make mistakes and take longer. With this in mind, here’s a few ways that you can alter scheduling to foster improvements.
Ask Employees about Preferences
Simply asking when employees prefer to work can be a good first step in overhauling your company’s scheduling. Most employees have an inherent knowledge of their own circadian rhythm and will gladly share their preferences with you. If your workplace requires a wide array of different shift schedules, this can be very advantageous, as preferences are apt to vary and you may find your schedule easily covered and your employees happier than ever.
Consider Allowing Employees to Set Schedules
If your workplace is one that operates primarily on deadlines, it may be possible to allow the employees to basically come and go as they please. Of course, employees will still be required to complete tasks and work the needed number of hours, but they may be able to do so on their terms each day. This high degree of autonomy can help your company to make great strides in improving satisfaction and retention.
Shift to Remote Work Opportunities
For the deadline based workplace, it may also make sense to shift to remote work. If employees can complete the needed tasks at home and clock in remotely, there is generally no need for them to come in. You may also save electricity and money on rent as the demand for office space decreases.
Start an Hour Later
Remote work and flex scheduling isn’t right for every work place and may dramatically change a culture that works, so simply starting an hour later may be right for some. Most offices open up at about eight or nine ‘o clock in the morning, so shifting to starting at 10 ‘o clock may be easier. This will allow employees to wake up a little later, which may result in a better rested staff.
Split the Workday
While everyone has a slightly different circadian rhythm, most people fall into the category of either being an early bird or a night owl. If it is possible to split the workday into two distinct shifts and allow employees to select their preference, you may see your company productivity instantly increase. The split may also have unforeseen benefits, like enabling customer issues to be addressed quicker.
Promote Sleep Breaks
Some companies offer lounge areas where employees can catch some rest during breaks. Encouraging employees to clock out and use their break time for sleep may help you to achieve a better rested workforce without doing any major scheduling overhauls.
However you address the sleep issue and work to help employees get more rest, you are likely to improve your company productivity. Everyone functions at their best with plenty of sleep, so you should not overlook this newly discovered competitive advantage.