May 5, 2010

Will Flex Time Work for You?

BY John Paul Narowski IN Productivity 2 Comments

strech-sitting-dancer-1122000-oAs more companies understand the importance of good work-life balance, flex time is becoming more popular.  Flex time allows workers to work schedules that break away from the standard nine to five.  Some people work condensed work weeks, others come in later or leave earlier.  The same amount of time is put in from week to week, but the worker is given a level of flexibility to choose when he or she is “at work”.

Flex Time is Good for Business

Flex time was once seen as form of added bonus; only the best places to work offered this option and it wasn’t all that common.  Now many companies are seeing that letting workers pick their own schedules goes a long way to worker satisfaction, happiness and ultimately, retention.

Flex workers can attend to family matters easily, enjoy longer weekends or work when they feel more productive.  I’m a night owl myself, so coming at 11:00AM and leaving at 7:00PM wouldn’t be too bad for my style.  Other people are early risers and need to pick their kids up after school, so they come in at 6:00AM.

As a caveat, this flex schedule must be monitored in those offices that rely on teamwork and group projects. If schedules don’t match up for at least a few hours, flex time can prove to be damaging to inter-office relationships and deadlines. Clearly, flex time has worked in many offices around the country, but within reason.

Back to the pro’s of flex time…the schedule also works great for people who live in areas with heavy traffic congestion during rush hours.  By altering your schedule by an hour or two, you could bypass all the congestion and still be home at the same time!

As you can see, flex time is a great solution to many problems affecting company morale.  Now, it’s up to you to get some of that flex time.


Rally the Troops

caslendarTalk to your co-workers and see how they feel about it. Devise a schedule so the office isn’t a complete ghost town at key hours.  This will necessitate some give and take but if you’re all serious about you can make it work.  This is better than asking solo; you have some collective bargaining power on your side.

Strategically Pitch to Your Boss

Have a well written out plan showing the pros to the business. No manager wants to hear about how you could have four day weekends or sleep in an extra couple of hours.  Lay out why it would be great for them; you could do business in more time zones, happier workers, more hours of the day covered by the same amount of people etc.


Run it by the Troops

See if people would be interested in doing a flex time schedule at your office.  If they would (and why wouldn’t they) then go about setting up requirements that make sense for your unique company and industry.  You don’t have to let the employees just have complete free reign with their schedules; lay out the rules and let them work within them.

I’ve been hacking at various business ideas since I was 16. I’m a full stack developer and love crafting user experiences. I’ve been nose deep in code since I put the legos down, and built several successful businesses in the process. I’ve lost some hair, gained some experience and throughly enjoyed the journey.

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