Flextime: What Is It And Should Your Company Use It?

Clocks showing different time zones to represent flextime

Work/life balance is vital for your employees’ health, happiness, and well-being. And, as many employers are discovering, it’s essential for their productivity as well. That’s why increasingly more managers are offering flextime instead of the strict 9-to-5 workday.

How, exactly, can flextime improve your business? In this article, the productivity experts at Sling show you all the benefits of this unique work schedule.

What Is Flextime?

Flextime is a flexible schedule in which workers can alter workday start and finish times. Employees are still required to work a set number of hours per day (e.g., eight) or per week (e.g., 40), but they are allowed to choose when — within agreed-upon limits — they will clock in and when they will clock out.

How Flextime Works

Business manager checking his watch

It’s those “agreed-upon limits” that make flextime unique as a work scheduling practice. If you implement flextime in your business, you might set the following restrictions on when your employees can work:

  • May start work no earlier than 5 a.m.
  • May finish work no later than 9 p.m.

With the above example, an employee could begin work at 5 a.m., work eight hours, and finish at 1 p.m. Or their workday could start at 1 p.m. and end at 9 p.m.

This is fine if employees work autonomously. But if they work together as part of a team, you could run into some problems.

That’s why flextime usually incorporates core time. Core time is set hours when all employees must be present. It’s during this span of time that meetings and collaboration occur between employees working different flexible schedules.

For example, if you used the flextime limits listed above (not earlier than 5 a.m. and not later than 9 p.m.), your core time might be 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

What Are The Benefits Of Flextime?

The benefits of flextime are myriad and encompass everything from peak productivity to preferred work habits. Below we’ve listed three basic benefits of incorporating a flextime schedule. Examine the concept of flextime for yourself and we’re sure you’ll add more to this list.

1) Allows For Easier Childcare

Childcare can be one of the biggest headaches for a working parent, especially if their partner is working too. What if there’s a school delay or cancellation?

With flextime, your employee has the option to report to work and leave work later. That makes it easier to deal with changes in their child’s schedule.

2) Allows For Continuing Education

Flextime employees taking advantage of continuing ed

Offering a flextime schedule can transform the idea of continuing education from fantasy to reality.

With a flextime schedule, employees can report to work after their class has finished (say, at noon) and still get a full eight-hour day in. At the other end of the spectrum, they can work a full eight-hour day and still have time to take a class or two in the afternoon.

3) Allows Employees To Avoid Rush Hour

The daily commute can add an hour to your employees’ workday. With rush-hour traffic, that hour can quickly become two (or more).

By offering a flextime work schedule, you give your employees the option to miss the rush hour completely. That gives them more energy for work in the morning and more time with their family at night.

How To Set Up Your Flextime Schedule

The best way to start when implementing a flextime schedule is to establish your core time first. If your team normally works together in the afternoons, you might want a mandatory block of time together after lunch. If your team normally works together in the mornings, that mandatory block of time could be before lunch.

Clock

It’s essential to start with your core time first because it dramatically affects the outside limits of when employees can start and finish work.

For example, if you know you want your team to have four hours of core time and your start-work limit is 5 a.m., your core time should begin by 9 a.m. at the latest. This ensures that the early workers are able to leave after eight hours. In this scenario, everyone has to be at work by 9 a.m., but they could start earlier if they so desired.

As you can see, it gets a little complicated if your limits are too widely spaced. Most businesses establish a six-hour core time and then allow employees two hours of flextime on either side.

Make Scheduling Flextime Simple With Sling

Sling's scheduling app

When you offer the option of flextime to your employees, you give them a bit of freedom within a very structured system. Ditching the 9-5 — or at least being flexible about when hours are worked — helps your team members feel more in control of their own schedules.

We’re not advocating cutting employee hours down to part-time. Rather, we suggest trying new ways to accumulate 40 hours each week. Here are a few examples of flexible schedules that might work in your business:

  • Four 10-hour days
  • Rotating shifts
  • 9-hour shifts Monday through Thursday and a 4-hour shift on Friday
  • 80 hours in 9 days and then the 10th day off
  • 6.5-hour shifts 6 days a week

Flextime is a wonderful incentive for your employees, but it is also a nightmare to schedule. That doesn’t mean you have to chuck the idea completely.

Instead, incorporate a cloud-based employee management app, like Sling, to give you and your employees the ability and freedom to create the schedule that works for your business.

Employees can access Sling anytime from their phones, mobile devices, or desktop computers. They can request time off, find their own substitutes, tweak their schedules to fit their needs, and so much more.

The Sling app

It also gives you, the manager, the ability to track the hours your employees have worked without your physically being there. The power and flexibility that Sling offers make flextime a very real option for businesses large and small.

For more free resources to help you manage your business better, organize and schedule your team, and track and calculate labor costs, visit GetSling.com today.

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