What is a flexible schedule?
It’s important to understand that flexible schedules are not going to create a disastrous scenario where all of your employees work whenever they want and no one knows what’s going on. When implemented correctly, a flexible schedule is just as consistent as the standard 8-5. Employees will still work consistent hours, they’ll simply have some flexibility as to what that schedule and those hours look like. Whether someone chooses to work an extra hour four days a week so that they can have one half-day, or an early bird would prefer to work 7-4, it shouldn’t negatively affect anyone’s ability to do their job.
How should it be implemented?
To be most effective, flexible schedules should be consistent and maintain boundaries, but there are different levels of structure you can implement based on the type of business you’re in.
If your business requires employees to be available for customers, you may have slight difficulty being flexible and will have to remain fairly structured. So if someone utilizes the ability to work from home or take a half-day, that event would occur on the same day each week so that coworkers and customers know what to expect and when that employee can be reached. Or, you can establish a set of core days/hours where everyone must be in office, and allow the flexible schedule to occur around those times. Tech based companies on the other hand, have it much easier since as long as each individual is available for the team and gets their work done, it really doesn’t matter when they actually do the work.
It’s important to keep an open mind when first implementing this sort of policy, as there will likely be some kinks to work out. Some supervisors may have trouble managing from a distance or trusting employees to do their job, and some employees may not have the willpower to be efficient working from home. Whatever roadblocks you encounter, keep an open mind and be willing to problem solve until you find what system works best.
Flexible schedules can be one of many attractive perks provided in addition to your company’s employee benefits program, which can work together to recruit and retain highly engaged employees.