Flexitime is defined as non-traditional work schedules for full-time employees. People still need to clock the hours of a full working week, but they can do so according to their own schedules, working earlier in the morning or later at night.
Usually there is a core period of the day when employees must be at work, and they can make up the balance of their hours as and when it suits them – within limits, of course. For example, they might not be allowed to start earlier than 5 am or finish later than 10 pm.
Like everything else in life, there are pros and cons to flexitime. These primarily concern time management, utility costs, coverage increases and staff maintenance. If you’re considering granting a request for flexitime or making it standard policy, looking at these factors will help you decide what’s right for your company.
In terms of time management, flexitime has both advantages and disadvantages. If meetings and training sessions take up a lot of your business hours, you might find a lot scheduling conflicts with this system; everyone working their own hours and available at different times. In the same way, interoffice communications can be affected.
On the other hand, implementing this policy might lead to better time recording, ultimately resulting in more productivity and proper use of work hours. If an individual proves that they can account for all their hours effectively, flexitime could be perfect for them. For staffers, there’s the added bonus that they can easily fit in Canada slots games or whatever other leisure activity helps them relax.
Non-traditional working hours increase the cost of utilities like water and electricity for employers which is a clear disadvantage. For instance, if you have to keep the lights and heat on 24 hours a day rather than between 8:00 am and 6:00 pm, that’s an extra 12 hours of electricity and gas heat out of every 24. You need to evaluate actual or projected profits during these timeframes, and weigh up the benefit and cost.
If your business uses flexitime, it can usually meet increased staffing needs so that coverage is increased. Depending on the industry you work in, this could be very beneficial. You’ll also save in overtime costs, so the system makes good financial sense too.
The last issue to consider is staff maintenance. With people working their own hours, effective supervision is much harder. This can lead to noncompliance with policies, as well as a general slacking off. If you’re concerned about this, the best idea might be to use flexitime for a trial period and then evaluate employees’ behaviour.
Tardiness, misuse of electronic communications or lack of adherence to the dress code could all indicate that flexible scheduling is not right for your staff. In this case, you need to decide if you want to discuss the slip-ups with the individuals concerned and try the system again, or if you want to simply stick with the usual business hours.