Flextime is an increasingly popular employee benefit. While some of us like to get up bright and early, others prefer working late; giving your employees the freedom to choose what time of the day they prefer to work will provide them a better sense of control over their daily activities.
In this article, we take a closer look at flextime: the benefits, stats, its relation to the connected workforce, and a short how-to in the form of an infographic.
What is flextime?
Flextime, in HR terms, refers to alternative or flexible work schedules. It gives employees the possibility to decide, to a certain extent, about their working hours and sometimes also the location they want to work from (home, a café, etc.). Flexible hours – and flextime – come in many different shapes and sizes and can help organizations in optimizing their employees’ performance at work.
Not convinced? Here are some interesting stats about flextime:
- A survey by Fractl among 2000 people found that, after health insurance, employees attach the most importance to employee benefits that are relatively low-cost for employers, such as flexible hours and the possibility to work from home.
- 60% of flexible workers say the flextime setup makes them both more productive and engaged when they are in the office.
- Among working parents, 84% considers work flexibility the most important factor in a job.
The benefits of offering flextime
Flextime has advantages not only for employees but also for organizations. Benefits include:
Those who are at their best in the morning will come in early and leave in the afternoon. Those who prefer having a lie-in will start in the afternoon and leave in the evening. In short: staggered hours create periods without interruptions and hence boost productivity.
A competitive recruiting advantage
As we mentioned above, employees and jobseekers attach great value to flextime. In fact, they sometimes prefer a lower wage with additional benefits – such as flexible hours – over a higher wage without those kinds of benefits.
Happier & healthier employees
Giving people the possibility to choose when they work will make them feel more in control of their day and less stressed. As a result, they’ll be less likely to call in sick or get in late. This, in turn, is good for employee morale and yes, there it is; employee engagement.
To add a slightly more scientific reasoning, take a look at the job demands-resources model as depicted below.
The job demands-resources model, also referred to as the JD-R model, is an occupational stress model. It suggests that strain – think of work-related stress and burn out for example – is a response to an imbalance between demands on the individual and the resources they have to deal with those demands.
One could argue that offering your employees flextime decreases (physical) job demands and boosts job resources. Offering people flextime increases their autonomy; after all, they’re (more) in charge of managing their time and workload. Looking at flextime from this perspective, it has a positive impact on your employees’ stress levels which ultimately means that they’re not only happier but also healthier.
All of the benefits mentioned above will have a positive impact on your employee retention. After all, happy employees who can decide on their own work schedule and, therefore, their work-life balance, aren’t likely to leave anytime soon.
Flextime and the connected workforce
The rise of flextime goes hand in hand with the rise of both the connected and blended workforce. A connected workforce is a group of workers that uses technologies like Social, Mobile, Analytics and the Cloud (SMAC) as its building blocks. A blended workforce is a mix of full-time employees, contractors, freelancers, etc. all working for the same organization.
Technology now allows people to work anywhere they want as long as they’ve got a solid internet connection. The fact that organizations increasingly use cloud-based software enables employees to easily access their company’s files and applications which makes working outside the office and collaborating with colleagues even easier.
Jobs that offer a lot of flextime
It’s not hard to figure out what jobs traditionally offer a lot of flextime: freelancers, on-demand delivery and taxi jobs (think Deliveroo, Uber and the likes), many of the best jobs for older workers we recently listed and generally speaking, any person who works for themselves all enjoy a lot of flexibility when it comes to their working hours.
But what about the rest of the jobs out there?
The only right answer here is a little unsatisfying: that depends.
Whether or not people enjoy the ‘flextime perk’ depends on the organization they work for and its policy when it comes to flexible hours. The good news is, as we’ve seen above, that with the rise of the connected workforce, the changing expectations of both employees and job seekers and the ever-evolving technology, flextime will become more and more mainstream.
How to get started
Now, how to get started? In a nutshell: As with all new ideas, make sure you have a plan first. Ask your employees for their input and come up with a flextime policy that suits your organization. Then it’s time to get management on board because, as you may know by now, without them backing your idea you probably won’t get very far.
Once you’ve ticked these boxes, do a trial run in one (small) department before launching the flextime scheme on a company-wide level.
To find out more about flextime and how it can help in transforming office productivity, check out the infographic below.
See more from Manilla recruitment here.
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