How to make flextime work
The days are long, the kids are out of school and summer activities keep your days busier than usual. For many employees, it’s the time of year when it’s harder to focus and be inside for lengthy periods of time.
For employers and human resources, it’s when requests for vacation, extra days off and early departures often increase. Allowing additional time off during the summer is easy for some organizations but others need to be more structured and plan for “give and take time” throughout the year.
Have you considered whether flextime would fit within your organizational culture?
While time off and flexible time requests may certainly peak in the summertime, the reality is that the typical 9 to 5, five days a week in the office doesn’t fit the large majority of employees for many reasons. For example, some may need to leave early for child care reasons; some work more productively in the quiet early morning. Others may need an additional day off every few weeks simply to recharge; yet others have important reasons for telecommuting once or twice a week.
Many employers resist offering flextime for generally valid reasons but, in some cases, it’s simply not possible to allow flexibility. Our human resources perspective, however, suggests that the benefits outweigh the disadvantages—so long as you set very clear parameters and expectations for your employees (likely meaning that not every employee will be eligible for the perk).
Would you let one of your rock-stars go to a competitor because you’re not willing to budge on their start time or because they need to work from home once a week?
By far, the greatest advantage for introducing flextime is employee retention. From there, the benefits multiply. When employees know that you’re willing to be flexible to promote greater work-life balance they’re much more likely to reward you with loyalty, extra hard work, increased productivity and less unplanned time off (e.g. sick days). More importantly, they’re much more likely to stick around and contribute positively to your happy, flexible culture.
What are your thoughts on flextime? Could it work for your organization? We’d love to hear from both employee and employers about your experiences.