A majority (90 per cent) of employers say employees with flexible work arrangements are productive, with more than a third (37 per cent) saying their workers are very productive, according to a new survey by Express Services Inc.

However, the survey, which polled more than 500 employers and more than 1,000 employees, also found employer respondents expressed some concerns about flexible working, including decreased productivity (28 per cent), delayed communications (26 per cent), difficulty meeting deadlines (24 per cent), increased distractions (23 per cent), inability to collaborate (23 per cent) and meeting scheduling challenges (23 per cent).

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However, more than half (59 per cent) of employers said workers would maintain their current level of productivity if given the ability to design their own schedules, while 27 per cent said productivity would likely increase. By comparison, nearly half (47 per cent) of employee respondents said they’d be more productive if they were allowed to design their own schedules and 46 per cent said their productivity would remain the same.

Indeed, when given options of different work schedules, a third of employees expressed a preference for working an eight-hour workday with a flexible start time. Notably, a similar percentage said they prefer a traditional 9-to-5 workday and just one in five (18 per cent) said they prefer a compressed work schedule, such as a four-day workweek with 10-hour days.

“Despite the return of some segments to the workforce, businesses are still desperate for workers and figuring out what incentives work best for employees at individual companies is key,” said Bill Stoller, chief executive officer of Express Services, in a press release. “If production can remain high while offering flexible scheduling options, it may be worth it to try.”

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