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What Flextime Is (and When It’s Right for Your Company)

Show employees you care about both their personal and professional lives by offering valuable benefits. Providing your employees with perks like flextime allows them to work on a schedule that better accommodates their outside responsibilities. Learn more about what flextime is, the advantages and disadvantages of it and how to determine if it’s right for your organization.

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What is flextime?

Flextime is the ability for employees to work flexible hours outside of traditional office hours. Employers usually allow their team members to use flextime to better accommodate their personal lives. Since many office employees complete a majority of their tasks using a computer and internet access, flex schedules are easier for more organizations to implement. Most companies set limits and create certain rules when building their flextime policies.

For instance, some employers allow team members to build their own flex schedules as long as they consist of 40 hours of work each week and some of those hours fall within traditional workday hours.

Many employees consider flextime as a type of workplace benefit and may choose a company that offers flextime over one that doesn’t. Providing your employees with flextime shows you support a healthy work-life balance. This makes more candidates excited to work at a company thatcares about them and is willing to work around their needs and preferences.

Flextime comes in various forms. Some employers let team members set their own flex schedules, while others build them for their employees. Common examples of flextime that organizations practice include:

  • Flexible start and end times:Employees who come to work in the early morning can go home earlier in the day, and those who start later in the day stay later in the evening.
  • Job-sharing:Two employees share the same position, meaning one employee may work in the morning, while the other works in the afternoon.
  • Compressed workweek:Team members work only four days a week, but complete longer shifts to make up for the absence on the fifth day.
  • Remote work:Employees work from home or another location outside of the office, either full-time or a few days throughout the week.
  • Summer Fridays:Employers give team members every Friday off or allow them to work remotely on those days in the summer to boost workplace morale.

Advantages of flextime

Offering your employees flextime shows you’re willing to work around their schedule and cater to their preferences. Common advantages of providing your employees with flextime include:

  • Attracts more quality candidates:Having flextime as one of your company perks stands out to candidates and makes some prefer your company over the competition.
  • Provides a healthy work-life balance for employees:Implementing a policy that allows employees to work when it’s most convenient for them helps them maintain a great work-life balance. This often leads to a healthier and less stressful lifestyle. Employees will come to work feeling refreshed and energized to submit valuable assignments.
  • Builds trust between managers and employees:Creating flextime policies that work well with employees’ schedules makes them appreciate you as an employer and builds their trust in your leadership team. Having a strong relationship with employers often leads team members to stay with a company longer, resulting in stronger retention rates.

Disadvantages of flextime

Common disadvantages certain companies face with flex schedules include:

  • It can make schedules more difficult to manage and build:If you build schedules for your employees and need them to operate at full capacity during the day, flextime may not be the best option, especially if they work in customer-facing roles and must interact with clients during traditional work hours.
  • I could cause some employees to miss important meetings:It’s often challenging to schedule work meetings between employees who operate during different hours. Some employers require team members to work regular hours on days where they have meetings and allow them to maintain a flex schedule when they’re free of meetings.
  • It could increase complexity in communication:If employees are working during different hours, it’s challenging to communicate effectively, especially if they’re collaborating on group projects. Consider requiring employees to schedule time to work together in-person several times a week to remain collaborative and efficient.

How to determine if flextime is right for your business

Some organizations thrive using a flextime policy, while others operate more efficiently without it. Follow these steps to determine if flextime is the right option for your business:

1. Determine how easy it is for employees to work non-traditional hours

Deciding if your business will operate effectively using a flextime policy typically depends on the operations of your company and how employees typically finish tasks. If a majority of your employees can complete their role from anywhere with just their computer and internet access, then flextime is a great option. Flextime may also work best for employees who don’t work in customer-facing roles or regularly participate in in-person meetings.

2. Consider how flextime affects collaboration

Think about how much time your employees spend collaborating in person and determine how effectively this communication can be transferred to a business communication platform. These platforms let employees build virtual groups to collaborate on projects or engage in fun, non-work related conversations. They often boost employee engagement since your employees are regularly using these platforms to connect with each other and make up for the lack of in-person communication. If your employees’ jobs require constant communication in-person, flextime may not work for your company.

3. Decide how flextime impacts job performances

Analyze the current efficiency and productivity levels of your employees to help you determine how well they’ll perform working remotely or in non-traditional settings. If you believe your employees have the self-discipline to work effectively on their own, then they may do great on a flex schedule.

If you feel hesitant about how wellyour employees will maintain a flextime policy, consider doing a trial run and allow them to work non-traditionally for a few days a week. If they’re able to remain productive, implement a permanent flextime policy.

Tips for implementing a flextime policy

Once you determine that a flextime policy is best for your business, follow these tips to properly implement it:

  • Decide which employees are eligible:Make a list of the employees who you believe would function properly on a flextime schedule. These are often roles like copywriters or graphic designers who work primarily on their computers and have limited in-person interactions with customers or other employees.
  • Discuss your expectations:Meet with your team beforehand to communicate the guidelines for the flextime policy and explain what’s expected of them. This could be that they can build their own schedule but must be available for meetings or that they can work from home when needed, but must be responsive to communication platforms during work hours.
  • Include your policy in your handbook:Once you’ve built a flextime policy that works best for your company and its employees, craft a clear and relevant policy to include in your handbook for employees to reference when needed.

When building a policy for your company, consider the opinions and preferences of your employees. Be sure to include policies that would benefit your team and work best with their schedules.

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