Nowadays, the long-standing practice of having fixed work hours is slowly and surely fading from the office culture scene. Instead, companies are allowing more flexibility in their employee’s work and giving them more control of their time in the office.
This is, in fact, good for both employers and employees. It turns out that giving employees the freedom with their time helps them become more productive and satisfied at work.
In this infographic, we discuss how flextime is emerging as one of the most popular trends in office management all over the world and how it leads to greater efficiency in the workplace.
Flextime, flex-time, and flexitime are all one and the same. Under this policy, employees are free to come in earlier or later than their peers as long as they’re able to complete the required number of work hours allotted for each day.
Employees are also expected to be in attendance during meetings or training sessions, with prior arrangements made between employees, team managers, and the HR department.
Flextime Practices Around the Globe
All over the world, companies are trying out and introducing flexible work arrangements to help their employees organize their schedule in a manner that best suits them. The policies and processes may vary from country to country, but the bottom line is to use flextime to promote employees’ job satisfaction and efficiency.
In the United States, the standard number of work hours is set at 40 hours minimum per week. However, there are companies that aren’t strict with the traditional 9-to-5 job as employers want to retain qualified employees who may be tied up with family obligations. It’s also a way for employers to uphold inclusivity in the workplace, as employees with special health conditions are given more options in conducting their work.
Meanwhile, Italy belongs to the list of countries where work hours are significantly shorter than in other nations. As such, employees are encouraged to adopt work-sharing—a type of employment arrangement where two people put in part-time work to perform a job normally fulfilled by one full-time staff.
Recently too, labor laws in Italy have included provisions for flexible employees to receive the same pay as that of their counterparts who aren’t under a flexible work program.
Over at Denmark, flexible work solutions are even more lax. Employees can set their working time based on their needs or work assignments. However, there is a core time that specifies the period when all employees need to be at work, often coinciding with the busiest times of the day.
As for Germany, workers can put in reduced hours and still receive partial reimbursement from their company for lost wages. This policy enables employees to join work-sharing programs, which has been effective in keeping workers employed.
France offers a variety of flexible work arrangements, too, in the name of work-life balance. Under French labor laws, employees may work part-time, choose night or day shift, render work on Sundays, or even request for an adjustment on their work schedule so they can practice a sport.
In the Philippines, more and more companies are recognizing the advantages that a flexible work policy brings to the table, especially on the financial and human resource aspects of business. Earlier this year, Republic Act 11165 or “An Act Institutionalizing Telecommuting as an Alternative Work Arrangement for Employees in the Private Sector” has been signed into law. This allows Filipino employees to arrange flexible work hours and environment. Moreover, it aims to lessen traffic congestion in Metro Manila.
Having a flextime work benefit in your company can help you hire better candidates. Filipino workers also tend to favor companies that do not have a fixed working schedule. Coordinate with a recruitment agency in the Philippines to properly highlight this great perk and improve your overall recruitment process.
Also, in some cases, employees do not have to be physically present in the office since they can have their work-outside-office counted as part of their work day.
Flextime is a Win-Win for Employers and Employees
Countless studies have been made regarding the effects of flexible working solutions to employees. And their findings are overwhelmingly the same—that is, placing employees on a less restrictive work program or schedule made them happier and productive at work. Since employees are allowed to have a say on how—or when—they work, they feel more in control about using their hours to the fullest.
Allowing your employees to work flexible hours can give you and your employees a wide range of benefits, from cost savings to optimal work performance and a successful recruitment strategy.
If your company operates with a shorter workweek, your overhead expenses can be lower than if you were practicing the regular Monday-to-Friday schedule. Even a single no-office day can result in budget savings for your company, which is an effective way of padding up your revolving cash fund, too.
In terms of recruitment, it’s easier to position your company in front of the best talent, knowing that there’s an option for them to choose their daily grind schedule. As trivial as it may seem, but nowadays, people are likely to put weight on external factors like travel time due to traffic when applying for a job.
Meanwhile from the perspective of workers, what companies with flextime policy communicate is that they’re willing to find a common ground with each of their employees. They just don’t look at everything as business, but they go out of their way too to accommodate their employees’ individual needs or working preferences.
As an employer, you know that your employees have different working styles: some of them work productively in the morning, while some of them are more productive during the latter part of the day. This is clearly one valid reason why you need to be flexible with your employees’ work hours.
In return, employees feel motivated to keep their end of the bargain up. They show up at work with more enthusiasm, and they tend to communicate better with their peers, too.
Moreover, employees can take better care of themselves. Whether they leave for work earlier or later than their co-workers, being able to choose the most ideal time for them prevents them from feeling burned out, having sleepless nights, or missing out on their favorite activities outside of work.
Tips for an Effective Flextime Office Policy
Here are some things you can do to maximize the benefits of flextime for your employees and your company:
1. If you’re considering implementing the flextime system in your company, take time to think about how flexible you want to be with your employees.
How to do it: Decide if you’re going to remove all restrictions, or if you’ll be drawing some line somewhere.
2. Discuss the rules of your flextime policy with your employees.
How to do it: Outline to your employees the specific tasks or outputs that they need to complete or produce within any given time. You might also need to specify if your employees will be reporting to an ad hoc officer in case you can’t meet them on certain hours or days.
3. Communication is key, so make sure that employees remain connected to one another despite having different work schedules.
How to do it: Set up a communication channel where anyone can leave messages, share files, or send reminders or updates to the rest of the team.
4. Test out the program first before rolling it out to the whole company.
How to do it: Run a month-long trial with a selected group or people. This can help you spot and fix possible loopholes in your proposed system.
5. Train your managers on how to manage your flexible workers.
How to do it: Since it will be harder to monitor everyone’s work all at the same time, your manager will need to learn to ask the right questions, and ensure that employees are accomplishing their tasks or targets. Your manager will also need to be more organized in setting up meetings with all employees based on their individual work hours.
Flextime Changes Things for Businesses and Workers
There’s no denying how flextime is transforming office productivity for employees, and at the same time, making companies more strategic in the way they run their business. Flextime is a simple but effective solution to potential office issues such as burnout, disengagement from work, and the like.
On a personal note, TJ is happily married and a father of two adorable children. He spends his free time giving back to the community by being an active member of the local HR Community. He speaks in learning sessions and also does pro-bono talks once in a while to impart his knowledge in recruitment.
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