Employee Flex Time: Understanding the Pros and Cons
In a job market with low unemployment rates, it’s becoming increasingly difficult for organizations to find incentives to attract top talent. One strategy that won’t cost you more money but will be appealing to many candidates is offering flex time. This is a wonderful opportunity for employees facing challenges such as getting their kids to daycare or for those who want to avoid traffic.
When staff are not tied down to a 9 to 5 schedule, they enjoy a better quality of life without interfering with your operation and production. Here we look at flex time to help you decide if it makes sense for your business.
What is Flex Time?
Flextime allows employees to adjust their start and end times to create a schedule that suits their lifestyle. They work the agreed-upon number of scheduled hours based on an agreed-upon schedule. Some flextime models include:
- A consistent, adjusted start and end time every day
- Varied start and end times based on specific days of the week, i.e., an early start and leave date on a Friday
- An adjustment to work and lunch times to shorten the workday to allow for an earlier leave, i.e., taking a 30-minute lunch instead of an hour
- Extended lunch periods with a longer workday (this might work for someone who requires a special therapy appointment every day for example)
- A shorter work week with longer days worked, i.e., working 8 to 6, but having Mondays off
The goal is to find a mutually agreeable time that does not interfere with productivity. Setting mandatory hours where everyone must be present such as between 11 and 3 ensures the team continues to remain productive.
Advantages of Flex Time
There are many advantages to flex time including:
- You can attract the best candidates while also retaining top talent with a more flexible work environment
- You can reduce late arrivals, or early checkouts when people can arrange their schedules to better meet their personal schedules
- Employees view flex time as a benefit and positive element of your corporate culture
- It avoids micromanagement encouraging a more open, respectful work environment
- It can help improve productivity as people will be working at their most productive time of day
- Flexible work hours can be suited to internal clocks suiting early and late risers
- Staff can reduce stress by choosing to commute outside of rush hour
- Less time off requests for things like doctor’s appointments, picking up kids for extracurricular activities, etc.
You allow people the freedom to complete their work at a time that suits them to keep them more engaged.
Disadvantages of Flex Time
There are some disadvantages to flex time to consider:
- It becomes more difficult to schedule group meetings when everyone has conflicting schedules
- It might not align dependencies on other roles perfectly which can negatively impact productivity
- Some roles might not allow for flex time which can lead to resentment and feelings that some people are receiving special treatment
- Some people might try to take advantage of the situation to avoid doing certain tasks or working with certain people which can interfere with a sense of team
- Managers might find things always feel disorganized trying to keep up with who is where and when
- Many team members might feel disjointed and frustrated with employees who never seem to be there when they are needed
- There might be less face time with key team members as well as decreased visibility for management
The trick is using time and workflow management software to keep employees accountable while improving productivity.
How to Introduce Employee Flex Time Successfully
A flex-time policy has to be introduced to ensure flex-time success. This would include any restrictions on the hours employees can work, as well as the process to submit hour change requests to the department head. A flexible work schedule form allows the process to be automated for easy completion, review, approvals and sharing with all necessary departments. A time clock also allows department heads to keep track of hours to ensure workers are checking in at the assigned start time.
Time, attendance and scheduling modules offer a comprehensive platform where all scheduling solutions are connected and accessible. As well, new flex hours should be on a trial basis. This ensures the privilege to work flex hours is taken away if a worker fails to fulfill their job roles to the same level of work expected.
Although not for everyone, the flex time model can prove to be an excellent tool to motivate and retain workers while attracting top talent.
About the Author
Kayla is the Marketing Manager at Paypro Corporation overseeing all inbound and outbound marketing and sales efforts. She has 7+ years of experience working within the B2B and SaaS based solutions space and thrives on creating messaging and campaigns that introduce products and services to those who need them most.