During our careers, we have all had different experiences of flexible working – as an employee, and perhaps a manager. In many companies, working hours are set in stone. But increasingly staff are getting a little more leeway when it comes to turning up to work.
If you have been considering trying out flexible working at your business, giving staff a choice of hours is one of your options. Let’s take a look at how flexitime works, and whether or not it would suit your team.
What is flexitime?
Flexitime is a variation of flexible working that involves employees deciding their working hours each day either partly or completely. This is not the same as other flexible working arrangements like compressed hours, or job sharing.
Flexitime schemes vary between organisations, but most use core hours. Core hours must be worked by employees – say 10-4 or 11-3. This guarantees that all team members will be at work at the same time for a significant portion of the day, as well as ensuring that enough staff will be working during the busiest times of the day.
Aside from these core hours, flexitime workers can choose to work their remaining hours whenever they like – for example, from 7-3 or 9.30-5.30. In most cases, employees do not need to notify their manager of the hours they intend to work each day – they can turn up whenever they like, and leave whenever they like, so long as they are available for the core hours and their contractual hours are met.
However, some variations of flexitime are more restrictive, requiring employees to choose and commit to certain working patterns in advance. This approach means that managers can be certain that all slots on the rota are covered, which is essential for customer support and other similar roles. In other words, flexitime programmes are themselves flexible.
Why bother with flexitime?
At first glance, giving your employees the chance to dictate their start and finish times seems like a whole lot of extra work for you, but do not dismiss flexitime until you have considered its potential benefits.
Grow your recruitment pool
Flexitime is a huge recruitment boon. Most importantly, it widens the pool of potential recruits, opening the role up to applicants who might otherwise have struggled with the length of a rush hour commute, or the cost of peak train times.
Give applicants another reason to choose you. Not all applicants are interested in flexitime, but when they are deciding between two otherwise very similar opportunities, the chance to choose their own hours will definitely give you an edge.
Boost staff retention rates
Flexitime lets staff gain greater control over their work-life balance and fit in their other responsibilities like school runs and appointments, while also cutting their commute time. Employees with this extra degree of freedom are bound to be happier and more engaged at work, meaning they will stay at your business for longer than they would have done otherwise.
Night owls aren’t very productive at 9am, so why not let them start their workday a bit later? Allowing employees to work when they are most productive makes obvious business sense.
If you offer customer support or similar services, flexitime has the potential to extend your support coverage from standard office hours to 8-6 or even 7-7, allowing you to provide your customers with an improved service at no extra cost.
Ultimately, almost every business can use some sort of flexitime scheme to benefit the business and its employees. But it’s the extent and structure of your flexitime programme that will dictate its success, and deciding on what your scheme will look like is down to you. Figure out your goals, processes and any constraints, and go from there.
If you are interested in further information on any flexitime software then make sure to get in touch with Computime Systems today at 0113 868 0124.