How to Introduce Flex Hours Into Your Organization
Shedding the traditional 9-5, 40-hour work week is becoming more common as businesses struggle to find better ways to keep and attract talent. In fact, over 80% of businesses offer some form of flexible work arrangements, be it working remotely, flexible start and end times, or reduced work hours. Other studies suggest that a flexible work schedule ranks as the most important perk a company can offer.
Introducing flex hours into your organization can provide a multitude of benefits for both employees and the company. Flex hours promote a healthier work/life balance, can boost worker productivity, and can help manage stress and burnout. But those benefits won’t manifest themselves unless you implement flex hours the right way.
4 Tips for Introducing Flex Hours Into Your Company Culture Successfully
#1 – Determine which positions are conducive to flex hours.
Flex hours might not make sense for every job in your company, especially those in customer-facing roles. It’s up to you to decide which positions will make sense for a flex schedule.
Consider the various roles in your company, and decide if a particular start or end time is crucial for each one. For instance, if you offer tech support via phone or chat between certain hours, you need to ensure you are adequately staffed throughout that time frame to serve your callers.
#2 – Announce your plan to introduce flex hours, and collect employee feedback.
Offering flex hours, or any other perk, to employees means understanding how they stand to benefit from it. You can’t follow other companies’ examples simply because it works for them. Your people and business needs are unique, so your flex time program should serve to bolster those needs.
Talk to employees in different job titles and seniority ranks within the company to get a well-rounded idea of how flex hours will benefit different people. Ask for their input on how the program might best fit their individual needs.
#3 – Help managers to understand the benefits of flex time.
Even a hint of change in the work environment can prove enough to send managers into panic mode. And for good reason – managers need to know how to explain these changes to their team, how it affects operations, and ways they can plan for upcoming changes.
You can help conquer this fear of the unknown by presenting managers with the benefits behind flex hours. Give them the chance to ask questions on how it will impact the daily workflow. Introducing change directly (and before it happens) can help settle nerves and open minds, both of which can lead to a better chance of program success.
#4 – Make flex time a formal company policy.
While some companies leave it up to the employee to determine their start and end times in a flex hour setting, you could greatly benefit by structuring a formal company policy around the program. Put your flex time policy details into writing, and ensure each employee understands any boundaries you’ve set forth.
One idea is to give your employees a general time range to start and end each work day, with the understanding that those who come in later should also stay later. Another suggestion is to let employees work up to a certain number of hours per week however it’s most convenient for them.
Whatever you decide, keep in mind that flex time should be just that – flexible.
One Final Thought on a Flex Hours Program
Adopting a flex hours program doesn’t necessarily mean your company will benefit like others have. It’s important you make periodic check-ins with managers and employees to get feedback on how they feel the program is working. They might be able to offer insight into problems you didn’t initially consider, which could help in restructuring the program to make it a better option for everyone involved.