Often management motivates blue-collar workers with a convenient flexible schedule combined with remote work. Of course, a similar regime can also be introduced for factory workers and call center employees. In the course of American studies it was found that free work for managers contributes to a significant increase in labor productivity and a decrease in staff turnover.
Recently an American company, which is a manufacturer of automated equipment Turck (Minnesota) publicly announced that soon most of the work of the factory will be done at home. The number of workers of this company is 400 people, according to timesheet software. Its management is of the opinion that it is possible to reduce personnel turnover and retain personnel, for that purpose it is necessary simply to enable people to work at home. According to Senior Product Manager Di Como, “You can do this kind of work, like labeling products, at home. Many workers do it all day long.
Today, more and more companies that employ low-wage staff and hourly workers are making changes to workers’ schedules, offering them a reasonable shift in the beginning and end of the workday. This applies mainly to organizations that specialize in retail trade, manufacturing, offer catering services, or run a hospitality business, as well as call centers and medical institutions.
For example, hotel chain Marriott International and medical company Kaiser Permanent have given hourly workers the option of taking more frequent vacations and choosing individual hours of work.
The president allows some employees of his dairy farm (feed specialists, veterinarians, and those who keep pedigree records) to work flexible hours. “For me, the most important thing is that the herd is healthy, and the employees can choose their own working hours. However, regardless of the work schedule, workers should have the assurance that they get the minimum wage under any circumstances,” says the president. At the same time the salary of all subordinates of an entrepreneur consists of a fixed part and a bonus – for the final result.
According to the manager of Food Service Capital, two years ago waiters and chefs were offered hourly wages. “However, not everyone went for it, but only three restaurants out of 30. For example, the income of restaurant workers in London – from the chef to the kitchen assistant – consists of hourly wages as well as tips. However, we are very reluctant to do it here. Before switching to a flexible work schedule, our people need to learn to value their time,” he says.
According to management experts, the main reason why companies do not risk giving employees free time is the likelihood of a drop in labor productivity. However, many companies, including Kaiser Permanente, after a survey of workers came to the unanimous conclusion that the opportunity to work at home, as well as more flexible hours help to reduce staff turnover and increase people’s responsibility for the result.
Johnson Storage & Moving (Centennial, Colorado) is another successful example of the use of such schedules for blue-collar workers. All employees, and there are 450 of them, are allowed to work from home and choose a schedule that is convenient. According to Jim Johnson, these changes were made 16 years ago and are still proving to be effective.
At Johnson Storage & Moving, there are only two categories of employees (movers and warehouse workers) who cannot work in a home environment. But there are comfortable working conditions for them as well. For example, employees who need to pick up a child from school or who are caring for a sick relative can shift the beginning and end of their workday, but they must work their full work hours. As a result of this policy, Johnson notes, absenteeism and tardiness among longshoremen have become rarer because they are now free to choose their working hours.