Flexible work schedules are defined as schedules that don’t stick to the traditional 9-to-5 day of an office. With flexible work schedules, employees may come in or leave earlier or later than conventional times dictate. Some flex-time employees also compress work weeks, and may work four 10-hour days rather than five 8-hour ones.
In the end, the goal is to find the best schedule that allows your team to perform optimally. What do you need to consider if you’re thinking of offering flexible work schedules? Here are the pros and cons.
Flexible hours are likely to be very popular with employees. Work-life balance is one of the primary factors employees look for in a job, and flexible schedules can allow more work-life balance. They may be particularly attractive to employees with family care responsibilities and people in school, but all employees look upon them favorably.
Because employees love flexible schedules, this could become a benefit that can make it easier to recruit new employees.
Employees with a flexible schedule could be more productive. If certain employees are able to focus deeper on their work in the early mornings or late nights, find ways to give them that option. If your industry requires certain working hours, find ways to structure your day that allow your team to provide excellent service.
A well-designed schedule can also mean you have more coverage. A customer service role that has two people working different schedules, for example, could mean that agents are available in total from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. rather than 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
As desirable as flexible schedules can be, they may not work in every business and every situation. If you need a full warehouse team working at the same time for picking, packing and shipping, for example, a member of the team not there during certain hours may mean the team can’t function well.
Similarly, customer-facing roles may need to be available from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. because that’s when companies or stores are open. It is necessary to consider the impact to your business to not have full coverage during those hours.
You need to think about your employees’ soft skills when you think about flex time, as well. It works best with motivated self-starters who show a strong work ethic and personal responsibility. If your employees don’t have those qualities, they may start coming in later than they should, even given the flex schedule hours, or leaving early. In short, they may take advantage.
As a result, you may have to institute monitoring of your employees more than you ordinarily would. That may be a drain on your management time and responsibilities. It also may mean that the other employees resent the people with flex time, which could also become a management issue you have to defuse.
As a result of the combination of pros and cons, you may want to start flexible scheduling on a trial basis with just a few employees who exhibit a high degree of responsibility. Touch base at one and three months to see if it’s working for all concerned.
If you have units where flexible scheduling would not work because all employees need to physically work together at certain hours, be transparent about the reason. Are you looking for expert management and HR advice in Reno? The team at The Applied Companies is available to help your business manage growth and outsource human resources work in order to retain focus on your core business.
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