A work trend that continues to increase in popularity is flexible work schedules. Why? Several significant reasons. For employers, it is very attractive for recruiting, morale and retention purposes. It also shows employees that management is willing to partner with them over their time and extends the trust that goes with it.
For employees, it gives them something that’s most important – a sense of freedom. The majority of employees don’t want to be locked in to set hours and days. Flexible time at work allows employees to create more balance between work and personal demands.
What works for one company might not work for the next, so flexible work schedules must be completely customized by organization. There are things that must be considered such as what works in one department may not work in another. What works for one type of job, may not work for another. It’s a matter of going micro to see what is best.
Because flexible work schedules are so highly valued by employees and because the benefits to employers are tangible, it seems well worth offering a program at your business. Some of the popular practices like part-time or compressed work schedules, telecommuting or flexible summer Fridays might be well-suited for your business. But, if these aren't, there's no reason not to develop some sort of flexible work arrangement. With a little bit of creativity, you can develop just the right option. Here are some other ideas:
- Late starts. Allow employees to start later in the morning and stay later. This saves time on commuting at the height of rush hours. It helps get the kids off to school or allows time at the gym. This can be offered daily or several days a week.Time can be adjusted by an hour or several. Expected work hours for the week must still be met with this option.
- Early departures. This is the inverse of the late starts. Employees would start their day earlier so they can leave earlier. Offer this option as it may be suitable. Similar to the late starts, expected work hours for the week must be met with this option.
- Longer lunch hour. Allow employees to request a longer lunch hour when needed so they may take care of personal business. Sometimes, this flexible time may be all an employee needs to handle a doctor’s appointment or run a personal errand as it is right-sized to a smaller matter.
- Super Sick Monday. More and more talk is surfacing about giving time off following a special event, especially one like the Super Bowl. Make this as a part of flextime and avoid the need for employees to call in sick on the Monday after the big event. If the full day off doesn't make sense, consider allowing a late start.
- Half-day Fridays. Consider allowing employees to take several half-day Fridays. Maybe it’s just between Memorial Day and Labor Day, maybe it’s all year round, or maybe you offer it both summer and again during the winter to boost morale during the colder months. Whatever is appropriate.
Be creative and adapt what flexibilities you can offer employees with their work schedule. Watch what other companies are doing and what’s trending. Then modify any ideas that you like to fit your organization. It’s all about flexibility.
In order for any flextime program to be successful, there must be effective cooperation between employers and employees. There are key factors that clearly must be in place like employees understanding that flexible schedules are discretionary and that work remains the priority and must always be covered first. Senior management must be supportive and managers must be involved in planning and execution. HR must provide guidance on how to set up a flexible work program that can work fairly for employees and how casual or formal the policy will be. Overall, keeping in mind . . . simpler is better.
Let us help you simplify things at work through your new hire onboarding and beyond. Explore the possibilities of Onboardia and talk with our HR Consulting Team. Call us at 800-771-8610, visit us at http://www.onboardia.com or Schedule a Demo today.
Cathy A. Reilly is the CEO & Founder of Onboardia, Inc., HR software, HR Consultant and the author of “The Temp Factor: The Complete Guide to Temporary Employment”.