With the changing times, workplace norms and employee demands have evolved as well. Employees now prefer a flexible work arrangement like the compressed workweek or remote work over the standard nine-to-fiver.
And if you’re considering allowing flexible working hours or flextime for your employees, you should set guidelines that clarify how it works in your company.
How do you do that?
By creating a flex time policy.
This Article Includes:
(Click on the link to go to a particular section)
- What is a Flex Time Policy?
- How to Create an Excellent Flex Time Policy
- A Free Flex Time Policy Template
- 5 Key Benefits of a Flex Time Policy
- 2 Major Challenges of a Flex Time Policy
Let’s get started.
What is a Flex Time Policy?
A flex time policy specifies guidelines to help your employees understand the firm’s flexible schedule.
Flextime is a work schedule where employees have the freedom to decide the start and end times of their work provided they follow the firm’s flex time policy. This flexible arrangement doesn’t reduce the number of hours employees work but sets a minimum work hour limit.
How to Create an Excellent Flex Time Policy
You need to carefully plan how to create a flex time policy to make better business decisions for the work unit.
Here are a few tips to help you come up with an effective flex time policy:
1. Create a Plan
To create a solid flex time policy, you need to consider your company’s operational needs, staffing patterns, and other factors.
You should also keep in mind the nature of work to determine whether flex time is feasible. Additionally, you can consult your employees to know their take on implementing a flex time policy.
This will help you create a flex time policy that’s both business- and employee-friendly.
2. Set The Criteria To Screen Requests
Here are a few factors you must include in the policy to maintain employee performance and avoid tardiness:
A. Employee Eligibility
Every employee in the organization can’t be eligible for a flex-time policy because of the difference in job nature.
For example, a flex-time policy may not be practical in an industry where employees work 24/7. In contrast, an IT professional can exercise a flexible schedule.
Similarly, employees who interact with clients regularly may need to come to the office on time, unlike admin professionals.
So you can only sanction a flex time policy for a few employees. Most importantly, you must clearly explain the reasons why certain employees can’t exercise flex time.
B. Eligibility Guidelines
Creating eligibility criteria for flex work will motivate your employees to increase their performance and prove their dedication to the firm.
Additionally, it’ll also help you exempt employees who’re insincere, tardy, and may misuse flextime.
Some of these guidelines include:
- All regular part-time and full-time employees can be considered for flextime work.
- The department head must approve an employee’s request to begin flex work.
- Your employees’ flexible schedule must be compliant with the FLSA (Fair Labor Standards Act), state labor laws, and company policies.
- The lunch period and other breaks aren’t included in the flextime schedule.
C. Acceptable Hours
Setting a section for acceptable flexible work hours in your policy can prevent a non-exempt employee from checking in and out of work whenever they feel like it.
You can include the following in this section:
- Explain core hours – the duration during which employees must be present in the office to improve team collaboration.
- The minimum number of hours a full-time staff member should work in a week or workday.
- When they can start and finish work (for example, they can work for 5 hours between 8 AM and 8 PM excluding an hour lunch break).
By setting criteria, you can let your employees know what’s acceptable in your firm’s flexible work timings and how the employee is expected to work.
3. Prevent Misuse of Policy
A flextime employee may become lazy and misuse the flextime policy. In such cases, you may observe a quick decrease in their productivity or incorrect timesheets.
You can prevent this by monitoring your employees regularly, reviewing timesheets, having face-to-face check-ins, etc. You can also give them regular feedback to motivate them to work and keep them engaged.
In case of any misuse, your policy should permit you to immediately terminate the employee’s flextime benefits.
4. Talk to Employees
For successful flex work, you should constantly check in on your employees.
Enquire about their work progress, the benefits of the flexible working arrangement, and other topics to understand them better.
This helps you find out how each employee works with a flexible schedule. You can also observe the effect the policy has on their performance, personal life, and overall well-being.
5. Create a Transparent Document
It’s best to document the details about flexible work timings in the form of a policy. This will help your employees refer to it whenever needed and resolve their queries.
Your employees can use the document to check the terms regarding the acceptance or cancellation of their flexible working arrangement when required.
Additionally, they can also refer to the employee eligibility criteria and decide whether they should apply for flextime.
By creating a transparent flextime policy document, you can also avoid spending time answering your employees’ queries regarding work flexibility.
A Free Flex Time Policy Template
Here’s a sample flex time policy template that you can customize to suit your needs:
You can access and download the template here: Flex Time Policy Template – Google Doc
Disclaimer: This template is a general guide and can only be used as a reference. It shouldn’t be considered a legal document as it may not account for local laws, state laws or federal laws, and other applicable laws. Neither the author nor Time Doctor will assume any legal liability that may arise from the use of this sample flextime policy.
5 Key Benefits of a Flex Time Policy
Because flextime policy offers several advantages to workers and firms, like:
1. Office Stays Open for Longer Duration
Since employees start work at different times, the chances of the office being open longer are higher.
For instance, if a staff member starts working at 8 AM and leaves at 4 PM, another employee can come to work at 11 AM and stay till 7 PM. This way, the office is open from 8 AM till 9 PM when employees work on a flex schedule.
2. More Satisfied Employees and Managers
According to a report from SHRM (Society for Human Resource Management), 55% of employees said that the ability to have a work-life balance is very important to them.
Your firm’s traditional work timings can make things difficult for employees who have to manage unavoidable personal obligations during the same time.
Agreeing to a flextime system can help your employees manage work and other tasks such that both aren’t compromised.
For example, your employee can have 10-hour day shifts for 4 days so that they can get a three-day weekend. This way, your firm can increase employee morale and retention and decrease absenteeism.
3. Better Employee Attendance Record
In a survey conducted by Flexjobs, 84% of working parents considered work flexibility very important.
Your employees can find it hard to maintain a work life balance with the traditional work arrangement. They may not be able to make time for important things like a doctor’s appointment, picking up their children from school, etc., which could happen during work hours.
A flextime policy can help them complete their responsibilities depending on their urgency.
For example, flextime will allow your staff members to drop their children at school when they miss their bus. Similarly, your employee can visit a doctor who’s available only in the morning and join work after the appointment.
This way, flextime can increase employee satisfaction as it reduces stress due to the juggling of responsibilities.
Additionally, this may help your employees come to the office on time and reduce the number of paid leaves they take.
4. Streamlines Workflow Management
Flextime enables you to schedule the workforce according to the workload.
By distributing the workforce, you can prevent employees from being idle and provide services outside traditional working hours.
For example, if the workload in your office is high between 11 AM and 2 PM, you can create a flextime schedule for a few employees such that they’re present in the office during the hectic work hours.
Additionally, it’ll increase the team’s output as all employees contribute to their fullest potential.
5. Lesser Overtime
Your employees can prevent working overtime by modifying their work schedule so that they’re present in the office when they’re needed.
For example, if your team inspection starts at 4 PM, you can ask your employees to start working at noon – so that they can go home by the time the inspection finishes.
This way, your employees may not have to work overtime – increasing their job satisfaction.
This can also help your firm by reducing its total overtime pay.
2 Major Challenges of a Flex Time Policy
Though flextime work policy has several benefits, implementing an effective flexible schedule can be difficult.
Let’s look at a few of its challenges:
1. Productivity Management
In a flexible work schedule, you may not be able to supervise employees who work during non-traditional work hours.
For example, if you start working at 9 AM and an employee starts working at 12 PM, you may not be able to monitor them after you leave the office. The employee can misuse flextime by leaving early or browsing social media during work hours.
Fortunately, you can supervise such employees using software like Time Doctor.
What’s Time Doctor?
Time Doctor is a powerful employee time tracking and performance management tool used by major companies, like Ericsson, as well as by small businesses, like Thrive Market, to boost employee productivity.
With Time Doctor, you can record the time employees work and know how long they spend on a particular task. You can also view the websites and applications they use while working for effective productivity management.
2. Difficulty in Collaboration
Flextime scheduling can make team management difficult since employees who need to collaborate to work may come to work at different times.
You can avoid this by scheduling work for employees such that they can attend training, meetings, and other necessary events during their work time.
Additionally, flextime can also reduce the efficiency of team communication. This can be solved by using specialized communication tools like Slack.
Flextime arrangement focuses on improving employee performance and meeting business demands like client meetings and overtime duty.
Managing flextime can be difficult due to unreliable employees, lack of team collaboration, and other reasons.
Fortunately, you can implement flextime successfully using the above tips and sample template. You can also sign up for Time Doctor to easily boost your team’s productivity while following a flexible schedule.
Liam Martin is the co-founder of Time Doctor—one of the world’s leading time tracking software for remote teams. He is also the co-organizer of Running Remote, the world’s largest remote work conference.