At Tjene we value our clients, our people (Tjeners), and the families of our Tjeners. We often pride ourselves as being a family oriented company, and with the effects of the present pandemic we found ourselves needing to adjust in a way that allowed us to align with our values.
As a company, starting in July, we decided to allow our Tjeners to take Friday afternoons off to recharge and get an early start to their weekend, rather than be glued to their desks all afternoon.
Some other factors in this decision were that given many children will be finishing school, and are unable to go to summer camps or other forms of activity and care, we wanted to give our parents at Tjene some time to care for their families in times of need. Even if our Tjeners don't have family obligations, we wanted to ensure our Tjeners were getting sufficient work-life balance and were able to spend some time doing the things they love.
…more flexible work arrangements showed more job satisfaction and organizational commitment…
Not to mention- there are other organizational benefits of having more flexible work weeks that have been backed by recent studies. For example, a study published by Cornell University shows that employees with more flexible work arrangements showed more job satisfaction and organizational commitment, than those who did not have access to any flexibility [1, 2]. Both job satisfaction and job commitment have also been shown to influence individuals' performance, suggesting that if job satisfaction and organizational commitment are improved, performance, in turn will also improve. .
…flexibility in work schedules also resulted in lower stress levels for employees…
Studies have also shown that more flexible work arrangements have resulted in employees putting more effort toward completing their work . An investigation completed by Deloitte calculated that in the US, $41.5 million was spent in turnover costs from people being forced to leave their jobs due to inflexibility in their schedules . A study from the University of Auckland found that having flexibility in work schedules also resulted in lower stress levels for employees- stress levels went down from 45% to 38% . If you are worried about the output of workers on a flexible work arrangement, this same study also found that even by working 30 hours rather than 37.5 hours in the week (i.e. a 4 day work week), resulted in the same amount of output [2,4].
Of course, we are happy to give this flexibility to our Tjeners, however, given the nature of our business there are some rules of engagement that as an organization we had to put in place. As a consulting company, as an organization we do have an obligation to be available for our clients and help serve them to the best of our ability. Some flexibility we have given our Tjeners for the summer has been the decision to refrain from booking any internal meetings on Friday afternoons. This allows employees to step away from work if they desire and are able, and limit their workload to client facing work only.
There are of course, many ways to implement flexible work arrangements in the workplace . This was one way Tjene hopes to be able to serve our people whilst not taking away how we serve our clients. The pandemic has forced organizations to adapt and we hope this is just the beginning of many ways we can begin to serve our evolving workforce in a meaningful way!
 Invest in Women, Invest in America: A Comprehensive Review of Women in the U ...By Congress (U S ) Joint Economic Committee