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Quick insight: embracing employee availability motivates people to work more not less

For many managers, there is an underlying fear that if you allow people to choose when they want to work they will work less, with worse attendance and less focus. However, serious academic studies have repeatedly shown the opposite to be the case: the more control over their schedules you give your people the more and the harder they work.

The latest study by Dr Heejung Chung from the University of Kent is highly revealing and we highly recommend viewing Dr Chung's short, 10-minute talk on the matter:

Dr Chung's further highlights her findings in an article at The Conversation by opening with a following sobering statement:

Roughly a third of all employed workers in the UK have flexibility over their working hours and about a fifth of people work from home on occasion. Across the EU, about 17% of all employed workers have access to flexitime, which means their work start and finish times are flexible. Another 5% have full autonomy over when and how long they work.

Give the gift of freedom and receive increased productivity

For managers, this may sound counterintuitive but social sciences provide several revealing explanations. One of the more intriguing is the gift-exchange theory, as Dr Cheung explains: "...people treat the freedom given to them by their employer as a gift, which they reward with harder work, as well as seeking to show that they can be trusted with the gift of autonomy."

Somewhat surprisingly, the dark side of adding flexible working options is not that people do not work enough but that people may be incentivised to overwork – leading to long-term issues with productivity and burning out as well as issues with complying with labour laws. PARiM allows you to have best of both worlds: enabling your employees to set their own availabilities and at the same time easily set strict boundaries on actually scheduled and worked hours with our Working-Time rules feature, which gives warnings if your supervisors or managers add more hours than a person is legally allowed to work per any given customisable working time rule.

Studies like these add to the case of adopting the easy-to-use and free employee availability management features that we just released at PARiM to our mobile apps. If you are intrigued by what that entails in practice then we encourage you to book a demo at parim.co/request-demo

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