How to Make Company Flex Schedules Work for Everyone
The demand for flexible work schedules is increasing. Almost 80% of the workers in the U.S. would prefer a job offering a flexible work schedule over one without. Employers are now more open to this request.
So why do so many people expect flexible schedules? Flexible work schedules are great for employees because they allow them to organize their lives around their jobs and not the other direction.
Employers also have many benefits from flexible scheduling. For example, employee retention, productivity, diversity, and engagement may all be boosted by flexible scheduling. This is why flexible scheduling is one of the most sought-after employee benefits.
What are the best ways for your business to create flexible work hours that work well for you and your employees? Here’s what you should know.
What is a Flexible Work Schedule Policy?
Let’s first explain the flexible work schedule policy.
Employees have the option to change their arrival and departure times if employers offer flexible work hours. Employees have the option to choose how long they work and where they work. It’s an alternative way to work instead of the antiquated 9 to 5, 40-hour workweeks.
You should know that the Fair Labor Standards Act in the U.S. doesn’t address flexible work hours. It’s a matter between the employer and the employee.
Employees should be clear about who is covered and when a flexible schedule can be arranged. You should also consider flexible schedules to meet all your employees’ needs.
- Flextime work schedule. With Flextime, workers can choose their working hours. Flextime also allows employees to change their working hours depending on the business’s needs.
- Remote working schedule. An employee who doesn’t come into the office regularly works remotely. For example, working from home could be an arrangement in which the employee works exclusively 2-4 days per week from home or from home.
- Compressed workweek schedule. This allows employees to work their 40 standard weekly hours. However, this allows employees to work for a shorter time than the five or ten day period of the normal week. For example, you could work an extra hour Monday through Thursday and take a half-day off Friday.
- Part-time work schedule. This is a conventional type of flexible schedule. An employer may allow a skilled employee to work part-time if they don’t want to lose them. The employee cannot, however, dedicate their time to fulltime work.
How to Make Company Flex Schedules Work for Everyone
Hopefully you now have a better understanding about a flexible schedule and its variations. Now you can concentrate on creating a flexible schedule for your company that works for everyone.
1. Participate in planning with employees.
When establishing flexible plans, companies often make the error of not communicating with employees. The easiest solution is to communicate with your employees. Create a flexible work program that is based on your employees’ interests and needs.
Determine if the new arrangement is right for you. What will the new arrangement mean for employees? The ideal agreement would address the company’s needs and satisfy employees’ personal preferences.
How can you get your team involved in this project? You could collect feedback through surveys, one-on-ones, or town halls.
You can ask your team members for feedback in many different ways. But you need to know what works best for them. Some employees may feel more comfortable giving honest feedback in team meetings. Some employees might prefer anonymous, confidential feedback.
2. Know your team.
“As a business leader, it’s your responsibility to know the people on your team,” writes Howie Jones in a previous Calendar article. “Knowing your team allows you to be aware of their tendencies and build trust. “
It is easier to delegate tasks to workers if they are well-informed. This will give you a better understanding of the team and help you choose the right personalities for a project or team. Knowing you’ve already done the hard work, you can resist the urge to micromanage them.
Remote workers are often more difficult to get to know than their in person counterparts. These steps will help you get to know them
- Prioritize facetime. “You might not be able to be physically together, but technology can be a bridge,” says Howie. “Eat lunch together via videoconference once a week.” Plan to fly them in at most once a quarter for meetings.
- Be generous. To build trust, you need to take risks. You should also give people a chance. You could surprise them with a pair of noise-canceling headphones if they ask. “
- Ask questions. Around 60-80% of our conversations revolve around ourselves. Encouragement helps you understand your partner and allows you to be a better person. It also strengthens your relationship.
Respected leaders encourage their workers to persevere through difficult times. They will advocate for more. Make an effort to get to understand them.
3. Instill a sense d’ purpose.
“It is time for a flexible work paradigm shift, with less focus on where or when we work, but rather on how value is generated,” Jason Grover, HR Vice President Polaris Industries Inc., told Forbes. “COVID has shown us that productivity is not dependent on where you are located, but on how your leadership inspires a sense of purpose. “
When employees are aligned with their priorities and create an environment where they can be their best, they are more likely to choose the most productive route.
4. Conduct a trial run.
If you are hesitant about starting a flexible plan or getting a lot resistance, a trial run may be helpful.
Create a trial program to test the waters before you launch a full-scale program. This process can be done by one department or a small number of employees from different departments. To collect data and iron out any kinks, the trial should be run for at least one month.
5. Flexibility is all about being flexible.
How can a company like Vistaprint make flexible schedules work?
“Some of us work best from our bedrooms,” the company states. “Some people prefer to work in an office environment. “
The company’s goal it to give its employees the freedom to choose the environment that suits them best.
” Our offices have been transformed into collaboration centers with hotdesks that can be booked and a variety of spaces where team members can meet in-person to work and socialize when needed,” they say. “Any team member who wants to use these collaboration centers can do it as often or as infrequently they wish, and they will still be able to set their own schedules. “
6. Set up a standard work window.
It can be difficult to bring people together when they have different work schedules. A typical window schedule is a great way to manage flexible scheduling.
Regardless of the time of day your employees work, set core hours, for example, between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. That means everyone is expected to be available at those hours throughout the week. This time can be used to delegate tasks, hold meetings, and bond as a group.
Employers can access a “schedule centre” when a typical work window has been implemented. This allows them to plan their schedules. It is up to the workers to manage their time efficiently.
7. Be consistent.
When informal policies aren’t followed consistently, it can cause resentment and bad morale, employee losses, and even legal trouble. This can be prevented by creating a clear, non-discriminatory policy that outlines the company’s flexible work arrangements.
8. Redefine productivity.
“Flexible work demands a shift away from seeing productivity in terms of being present for fixed working hours,” says Jane Parry. “Indeed the problem of presenteism, where people feel compelled show up at work even when they are sick, only feeds into the productivity puzzle. “
Companies (and managers) need to establish better performance metrics. How? By asking questions like:
- Was a project completed on time?
- How well did the team work together?
- Was high-quality work delivered?
” These are more effective indicators of success than staff clocking in at 9 a.m. each day,” Parry adds.
9. Do not have a communication breakdown.
Flexible schedules can leave supervisors and co-workers without business and social connections. Flex staff should be included in staff meetings to avoid feeling neglected or alienated by managers and co-workers.
You could also create dedicated Slack channels to allow everyone to communicate and collaborate. Or schedule regular Zoom check-ins.
Contact with other employees should not be limited to e mail. It is a good idea to have other contact points such as phone numbers. Know when it’s appropriate for you to text or call your team members. Unless it is an emergency, you should avoid contacting them Friday night. You should contact them during the core hours.
10. Monitor, assess, then update.
Flexible work arrangements may require an ongoing process of improvements and developments. Take the time to evaluate whether flex programs are meeting their goals. If they are not meeting your goals, adjust them as needed.
Again, encourage employees to give feedback and keep the lines of communication open. As mentioned above, you can launch a pilot program for a limited time when you are launching a new plan. If your plan fails, you may have to return to your previous traditional work arrangements.
One more thing. Keep abreast of legal issues. Employers must carefully classify employees as exempt or not-exempt. For example, for hours worked beyond 40 hours in a given work week — non-exempt employees get overtime. These employees will need to document their work hours.
Image Credit: Ketut Subiyanto; Pexels; Thank you!
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I have been writing professionally for over 20 years and have a deep understanding of the psychological and emotional elements that affect people. I’m an experienced ghostwriter and editor, as well as an award-winning author of five novels.