6 Ways Life Is Better When You Work an Alternate Schedule

Because I can work from here at night, I have time during the day to do the rest.
Because I can work from here at night, I have time during the day to do the rest.

I am an advocate for more flexible work arrangements in which people have more control over where and when they accomplish their work. These arrangements benefit employers through reduced turnover and absenteeism, as well as higher employee engagement and productivity. They benefit employees by allowing better work/family balance, as well as lowered stress and higher work and family satisfaction.

I am especially a fan of alternative work schedules that allow for people to have discretionary time off during regular business hours. In my career, I treasure the ability to work when others don’t in order to take care of a lot of the rest while everyone else is working. Think about all the things that daytime time off makes easier:

  • Errands– You can actually get someone at Home Depot to help you without hunting 20 minutes for an employee. You can take your time in the power tool aisle without your kids whining and begging you to leave.
  • Christmas shopping– The mall is far less packed at 11am on a Tuesday. Parking spaces are plentiful! Lines are short! Crowds are non-existent!
  • Movies– You have the theater to yourself during matinees. No one spilling popcorn or texting their way through the movie while crushed in the seat next to you.
  • Skiing– Weekends at most ski areas are super-crowded. On a Thursday, all that powder’s just for you.
  • Kid’s activities– Playgrounds, children’s museums, aquariums, zoos and the like are far less crowded, making it easier to enjoy your time instead of enduring it.
  • Your Kid’s School– time off during the day means you can volunteer at school or visit your kid’s classroom

What activities would be easier for you to accomplish if you could do them during normal business hours? Let’s discuss in the comments section.

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9 thoughts on “6 Ways Life Is Better When You Work an Alternate Schedule

    • Yes! While exercise can be done in the early morning or after kids are in bed, we’re often too tired to do it then. Being outdoors mid-day makes this easier, too. Thanks for reading and your comment!

  1. My schedule is so much more flexible now, and I love it. It also requires discipline which not everyone has or has consistently. I think workplaces worry about losing control and without employees under their roof, they lose some control

  2. Scott, all of what you mentioned plus doctor visits, tutoring, teacher visits (unscheduled are valuable, trust me), college visits, practice driving, helping them look for a job, and music lessons. Ok, some of those are for high schoolers, but flexibility is everything and you as the parent take a back seat (or passanger seat many more times.

  3. I’m not sure to what extent I really do work an alternate schedule, but I do have the same sorts of freedoms as you do by virtue of working in academia (e.g. freedom to structure own working routine to a large extent outside term time, and to a certain extent during term time). It’s also a real plus to be able to go on holiday outside of normal school holidays as our son is only two years old. This makes things a lot cheaper and easier to get to places that would perhaps be too hot for a small child right in the middle of summer.

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