Offering Flexible Work Schedules

Employers and schedulers have many options when creating employee schedules. A new trend that adds to the long list of options is the flexible work schedule. Many industries do require employees of certain departments to be in the office, but with today’s technologies, working on the go or from home is a viable option. A benefit employers are experiencing from offering a flexible work schedule is a reduction in time off. Employees are less likely to take a full day off to make their dental cleaning, or attend their parent teacher conference. The employee can simply come to work earlier or arrive a little later while still working the required hours. As with any type of employee shift scheduling configuration, there are challenges and benefits in offering the flexible work schedule.

When creating a new employee schedule with flexible hours, it is important to set parameters that meet the needs of the business first. Then, you should determine the facets that can be made flexible to allow employees to accommodate their life demands or personal work preferences. As with anything new, there will be an adjustment period and it can require quite a bit of trust. Most departments that deal with customers, such as call centers, may not be able to accommodate a full day of working from home, but they can offer employees the option to work early or work late on various days.

If you are thinking about implementing a flexible work schedule, keep an open mind and read the ideas below to help incorporate the new employee schedule so it can benefit your business and employees.

Some ideas to consider when offering flexible schedules:

  1. First, create a flexible work schedule policy and communicate it to all employees that are involved.
  2. Schedulers and managers must remember to take measures to track employee attendance, and ensure that employees do not abuse the flexible work schedule. Employee scheduling software can help with self-scheduling, attendance tracking and reporting.
  3. Team meetings need to be set ahead of time and communicated to everyone participating in the meeting. Perhaps make these meetings the same day and time each week so team members can plan ahead and get in a routine of meeting during that time.
  4. Allow workers to sign up in advance for the days they want to arrive early versus the days they rather arrive late. This will help ensure you have the proper number of employees in the office to handle calls or other business needs.
  5. Keep in mind that flexible schedules may not be appropriate for every department. Schedulers must also understand that it may take some time to adjust and coordinate. Don’t give up on the first try.
  6. There is more than one type of flexible schedule. Be open to trying different flexible schedules until you find the right flow and employees fully understand the flexible work policy.

With the flexible work schedule, employees can minimize commute time, work during hours that they feel most alert, and lessen feelings of employee “burnout” that can lead to high turnover. While it may take time to find the right type of flexible work schedule to offer and implement, once the right mix is found, business and employees will mutually benefit.

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