When you offer flex time as an employee perk, you’re giving employees more control over their schedules, and a number of personal advantages. They can:
- coordinate work with personal needs
- handle family obligations with greater ease
- gain a sense of ownership over their schedules and work projects
Will Flextime Work for Your Organization?
With a flextime perk, employees don’t need to be onsite or logged in remotely at the same time every day—for instance, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. Instead, flextime offers them core hours, and secondary or flexible hours, in which they can complete their work.
A flextime situation may look like this:
- During the core period, between 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., employees must be onsite, and/or logged in if working remotely.
- Meanwhile, workers can accomplish work-related tasks during flexible periods: 6 a.m. – 10 a.m., and/or 2 p.m. thru. 8 p.m.
While flextime might sound great, adding flextime requires more than just making an announcement in the employee newsletter. And, even as flextime gains traction across industries, plenty of organizations are wondering how to make it work for them.
One way to test the waters is to launch a seasonal flextime perk as a pilot program. We’ll discuss a few key points to consider below.
As a perk, flextime can help retain workers, and give employees a new way to engage with the work they do. Across the board, the success of your entire employee benefits program can be a huge boost to your retention efforts. Learn how BeneTrac can help.
Making Flextime a Seasonal Perk
Every organization wants retain employees, while finding ways to help their workers engage with their work. In many professional environments, this includes adding flextime as a perk.
- Flextime is a way for workers to create more balance between their personal and professional obligations.
- Flextime can also help your organization maximize the effort and energy that workers bring to projects.
- And, when you add flextime as a perk, it can infuse your workplace culture with new levels of excitement.
Still, there are plenty of things to iron out before you can launch flextime as a perk.
- For instance, how can you ensure that your “core” and “flexible” hours are accurate?
- What if things prove differently because of workflow or urgent client needs?
For some companies, making flextime a seasonal perk is the answer.
Every season brings its own demands, depending on the nature of your business. In some organizations, the summer is the ideal time to launch a seasonal flextime perk. After all, the weather is nicer, school is out, and people are thinking about vacations.
However, summer might not be the most ideal season for flextime if your business involves building and construction, landscaping, roofing, or another area where warmer, dryer weather means getting work done. Instead, winter might be a better fit for a flextime perk.
Regardless of what season is best for your organization, here are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to rolling out a seasonal flextime perk:
- Identify your “core” and “flex” periods.
We mentioned this above, and it bears repeating here. The workday that exists beyond your “core” period is essentially what accounts as “secondary” or flexible hours.
- This is the point during which employees can choose when they work—as long as they get their work done. Therefore, it’s essential to track workflow as closely as possible to determine how and when to offer secondary/flexible hours. That includes fleshing out the day-to-day details.
- You may discover that Mondays and Tuesdays have a different rhythm than the rest of the week, because of meetings, workflow, customer needs, etc. Because of this, you may decide that Mondays and Tuesdays will follow a set or “normal” schedule, with flextime options happening Wednesday through Friday.
- Empower employees and managers.
You want to communicate the flextime approval process with employees and supervisors. This includes giving supervisors and managers the tools they need to approve flextime, and letting employees know how the process works.
- For instance, you may require employees to discuss seasonal flextime arrangements with managers, then submit an official flextime request.
- Meanwhile, if managers have the power to approve or deny flextime requests, be sure you spell this out in any employee-facing communications, and/or update the employee handbook to this effect. Train managers to apply the benefit consistently to avoid claims of discrimination, These proactive steps can help you avoid issues down the road, especially if a manager rejects an employee’s flextime request.
- If it’s not working, don’t force the flextime perk.
As much as employees can come to value a flextime perk, if it’s not working, then it’s not working.
- It’s possible that your seasonal flextime pilot program will reveal wrinkles that your organization needs to iron out. If that’s the case, take an opportunity to press pause, then dissect what worked and what didn’t.
- Perhaps you simply chose the wrong season, or tried to offer too much too soon. That’s why some organizations, even when offering seasonal-only flextime, start with one or two days a week.
Is flextime the key to employee happiness? Some organizations believe so, while others are still exploring it. Either way, when you add a flextime perk to your overall benefits package, it can help your employees engage with work in new ways, and gain more control over their schedules
Administration and communication are key when it comes to helping your employees engage with their benefits. Contact a BeneTrac representative, and find out how we can help simplify your efforts.