Posted 3 years ago - by

What Is Windowed Work, and Should Your Work-from-Home Employees Adopt It?

The massive shift to remote work precipitated by the COVID-19 pandemic may have just generated a healthier, more productive alternative to the nine-to-five grind. It is called windowed work, and it allows employees to reconfigure their workweek into blocks dedicated, respectively, to work during their most productive hours and to personal time when it is most optimal or required. Essentially, it gives employees permission not to work on hours when they are least able to accomplish their tasks.

Windowed work calls to mind a familiar concept: flexible schedule—which involves breaking down the workday into discrete windows of time for different activities. It offers a solution to the problem of employees having to work while needing to attend to increased family obligations (especially for those with children or caring for sick or elderly family members) during the pandemic at the same time.

Research into windowed work

Global staffing firm Robert Half recently surveyed 1,000 professionals 18 years of age or older and normally employed in office environments in the United States but have had to work remotely when the pandemic broke out. Eighty percent said they were allowed by their employers to adopt windowed work while working from home.

The survey’s other significant findings are as follows:

  • A greater percentage of respondents with children (78%) than those without (66%) said windowed work allows them to be more productive.
  • Nearly an equal number of men (75%) and women (71%) said they get more done when integrating personal and professional activities throughout the day.
  • More employees ages 55 and older (39%) noted they prefer a traditional schedule than those ages 41 to 54 (32%) and 25 to 40 (22%).

How to optimize windowed work

How to optimize windowed work

If you are letting your employees adopt windowed work, emphasize the importance of them becoming more productive as a result.

Robert Half recommends these four additional tips for successfully adopting flexible schedules:

  • Coordinate team coverage.

Someone or a group in your department should be working during core business hours to respond to requests or deal with any issues that may come up.

  • Identify your power hours.

Determine when you are usually highly focused and productive: the early morning, late afternoon, or evening, or even later in the night. Use your power hours to work on high-priority projects or the more challenging and difficult tasks.

  • Set wide windows.

Reach maximum efficiency by clustering activities that require similar effort and resources and then blocking off hourlong increments, or longer, to get them done.

Avoid bouncing between tasks.

  • Plot and share your calendar.

Let your colleagues know when you are available to meet and collaborate, and when you will be less accessible or offline. Regular meetings or other forms of touching base are a must. Without consistent, clear communication, employees may feel isolated and eventually less motivated.

As you experiment with new ways to help your workforce achieve peak productivity, you deserve a reliable payroll software that can keep up with you.

In the market for one? Contact Payroll Systems to see how you can leverage our easily scalable solutions—from paperless new employee onboarding, paperless benefit enrollment, timekeeping systems with companion mobile app, physical clocks, and customized job costing and labor distribution reporting.

We pair human skills and empathy with the latest technology to take on our clients’ HR and payroll processes.

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This article provides general information and shouldn’t be construed as legal or HR advice. Since employment laws may change over time and can vary by location and industry, please consult a lawyer or HR expert for advice specific to your business. You can also contact Payroll Systems to inquire about our HR support services.