Flexible work schedule has become a popular practice and many employers are implementing this form of scheduling at their companies. There are many benefits of flexible time schedule for employees, which value comfort, independence, and self-reliance regarding to organization of work.

Flexible work schedule – table of contents:

  1. What is flexible time?
  2. Advantages of flexible work schedules
  3. Disadvantages of flexible work schedules
  4. How to introduce flexible work schedules in your company?

What is flexible time?

Flexible time schedule is a great way to increase engagement and effectiveness of employees and may bring many benefits to the company. This form of time organization may be utilized in many practical ways, hence it is better to plan the details of the arrangement ahead.

All the rules have to be set before the flexible time is allowed and the employees should know for sure what behavior is accepted and how to plan own chores.

Flexible time may take different forms. Employers, who already introduced the flexible time at their companies may adjust this way of organization to suit the needs of the company and the employees. Some forms of organization may prove to be more suitable and increase effectiveness of work.

One of the possible arrangements obligates employees to work at different time each day of the week. Another way allows employees to decide at what time they wish to start their work.

Typically, there are some guidelines, that employees should appear at work between 7.00 a.m. and 10.00 a.m. and work for 8 hours. In some arrangements it is just stated that an employee must work for total 40 hours a week and it is not specified when the work must begin or finish.

Advantages of flexible work schedules

One of the advantages of flexible work schedules is the increase of employees’ effectiveness. Some of the employees work better in early mornings, other late evenings – any of them may choose the time, when they are the most productive and effective.

Flexible work influences overall sense of comfort. There is no reason for great anguish in case of unexpected events such as: oversleeping, traffic jams, or necessary exits. The levels of stress related to those accidental situations is greatly decreased since employees do not have to worry about consequences of their absence – they may work the lost hours off.

Flexible time schedule may be perceived as a form of work benefit for those, who commute to work from the distance. They don’t have to stress about being late and to adjust their entire life to the timetable of train providers. Similarly, the employees who have children may benefit from the flexible time scheduling, since they encounter unexpected situations more often than other workers.

Flexible time schedule allows all the employed parents to leave their workplace early enough to collect their children from kindergarten or to attend a doctor appointment. Flexible time scheduling influences positively company’s image, so the company may be perceived by the employees as developed, tolerant and understanding. This perception may attract interest of potential employees, who value comfort at the workplace.

Disadvantages of flexible work schedules

Among many advantages, flexible work schedules have some disadvantages. First of all, it is not for everyone because of the type of work. For example, teachers have to start their lessons at a strictly given time and they cannot allow themselves any lateness.

Similarly, all doctors or police officers have to start their shifts at the time set and follow a shift pattern – flexible schedule is not an option for them. Some of the production workers, who typically follow shift work patterns won’t be able to enjoy the benefits of flexible work.

The next problem related to the flexible work schedules is the uneven workflow. Flexible working requires much greater skill of self-organization. In this method it is difficult to control the employees, it means that the manager must employ honest and responsible individuals.

The flex time poses a challenge to the managers since they have to organize all the tasks for their teams. It is not easy to arrange an urgent meeting, when some of the team members are still not present and the exact time of their arrival is unknown. In this case, team work requires much detailed organization and synchronicity of all team members working on the same project.

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How to introduce flexible work schedules in your company?

If you are not sure if the flexible work is suitable for your work environment, it is worth to introduce this model just for a trial period. This should help you to check if the flexible work is beneficial for your company or not.

The main goal of flexible work is to increase motivation and productivity of employees. During the trial period several flexible time schemes may be tested to see, which are the most effective in your setting.

All changes in work time scheduling should be introduced after careful consultations with the employees. Their needs should be taken into consideration since the right choice of the time scheduling method is not possible without their acceptance.

The employees will have to adjust to the new ways of working therefore they should view the flexible time scheduling as more convenient than other modes of organization.

Read also: Top tips on time management

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Author: Nicole Mankin

HR manager with an excellent ability to build a positive atmosphere and create a valuable environment for employees. She loves to see the potential of talented people and mobilize them to develop.