As you may have noticed, how we work has changed over the last few years. The pandemic has made new work concepts more prevalent. While some already existed, like the hybrid work model, thier potential was not fully explored. Since then, employers and employees have had time to observe the benefits of flexible working hours arrangements. Studies have also demonstrated the positive outcomes of flexible and hybrid work.
For this reason, we at would like to explore this topic by sharing additional information about flexitime. You will learn what it is and how it works through different examples. And like everything in life, this model has pros and cons, which we will discuss in further detail. Are you ready to take your company a step further into the future of work?
Definition of flexi time
What does flexitime mean? Also called flex time, this concept is an adaptable working model where team members can organize their work hours according to their requirements. It is a people-centric approach that responds to employees' needs and provides many positive outcomes for the businesses.
To be clear, workers still perform for the same hours as in a traditional working schedule. The main difference is employees can choose when they work!
Examples of flexible working hours arrangements
How can this work in practice? We understand that this might not be easy to imagine, but here are a few examples of how flexible working hours arrangements. The only condition is that employees operate the same number of working hours as if they have a fixed timetable.
Many companies adopt a flexi-time policy based on flexible and core hours within the same day. For instance, workers can begin work between 7 am and 9:30 am; this is flexible timing. From 9:30 am to 12:30 pm, they are required to be working. Then, the time they take their lunch break is flexible and can be taken from 12:30 pm to 3 pm. Back to core hours from 3 pm to 6 pm, and then flexible timings from 6 pm to 8 pm.
For more clarity, here is what it can look like:
7 am - 9:30 am: flexible arrival time;
9:30 am - 12:30 am: core hours;
12:30 am - 3 pm: flex lunch break hours;
3 pm - 6 pm: core hours;
6 pm - 8 pm: flexible departure hours.
This flexi-time system is also becoming trendy among companies that want to provide more adaptability to their workforce. Its principle is to condense your weekly working hours into fewer days. For instance, an employee can do 40 hours per week in 4 days instead of 5. It provides a better work-life balance as your employees have more days of free time.
This is another type of flexible time arrangement. Instead of working a certain amount of time per week, your working hours are annualized. They can be performed according to the company's or your collaborators' needs. An annualized hours plan is ideal for industries with seasonal business peaks.
Advantages of a flexi-time policy
Lower stress and fatigue
By allowing your employees to adapt their work schedules, you help decrease their stress and fatigue. For example, they feel less pressured to arrive at work on time if they are stuck in traffic. If their child gets sick and they need to take a day off, knowing they will be able to make up those hours on another day of the week removes a source of stress and mental fatigue.
Improve work-life balance
Flexible working hours arrangement also allows people to balance their work and personal life. They can control their schedule and can therefore make time for their family, hobbies, and, most importantly, themselves. By offering them a better work-life balance, you contribute to their well-being, leading to greater productivity and engagement.
➡️ Family, private life, work and, if it is possible, a hobby - to balance everything is sometimes quite difficult. Read Gabriel Rath's recent interview on how work life balance works.
A flexible work environment means your employees can show up to the office at different times without being stressed by commuting. What a relief to not drive to the office during peak hours and to avoid traffic jams or packed public transport! Also, a survey revealed that 71% of people prefer to work from home to reduce commute stress.
With this type of working model, team members can arrive late in the morning and leave later at night or start their day early and finish at the beginning of the afternoon.
Increase employee engagement
Giving greater flexibility to your employees highlights different aspects of your company's workplace culture. This people-centric approach shows them they are trusted and valued and that their well-being matters. Flexi-time is sometimes even mentioned as part of the company's benefits and can play a significant role in the decision-making process for potential new employees, even more than the salary offered.
Take advantage of the energy cycles and increase productivity
While some of us are early birds, others may perform better at night. Taking energy cycles into account is very important as it can shift the productivity level of your collaborators. By letting them work at the time of the day that suits them the best, you also ensure that their tasks are done in a shorter period of time.
HSBC explains that 61% of companies that implemented flexible working schedules saw a productivity improvement.
Reduce employee turnover and absenteeism
Allowing people to adjust their schedules according to their personal needs reduces absenteeism. Indeed, if team members are unfit to work, they can adapt their agenda and focus on their work when they feel better. Also, considering the current 'Great Resignation', workforce retention is becoming an important goal for many businesses.
An article by Forbes highlights that 97% of employees do not want to return to in-office work full-time!
Offering workplace flexibility is one of the best solutions to overcome this issue (among others). A company can provide a powerful benefit, encouraging collaborators to stay.
While hybrid working options have become a key element in drawing in new candidates, flexi-time is also a significant factor in effective recruitment. With employees paying more attention to their well-being, businesses that want to attract talent should improve their work-life balance with flexible working conditions.
One of the few disadvantages of more flexibility in your working environment is decreased communication. With people working at different times some communication issues may arise. To avoid this, it is essential to implement clear guidelines and encourage collaborative work when at the office together.
Your team members need access to great communication channels and shared workspaces where they can quickly meet when on-site. You can determine what is required to improve employee interaction and communication. To stay on point, check with them regularly if those requirements evolve and should be reviewed.
Require great organization
It may be tricky when starting to implement more flexibility in your workplace. How do you monitor your employees' working time? While some may work less than they should, others may work more. Indeed, it is easy to lose track of time, especially with full flexibility.
To solve this issue, some technology can support you. For example, workspace management software, like deskbird's, can help, primarily through week planning, desk booking options, and detailed data analytics reports. This tool gives you an overview of how your office space is used, when and by whom.
Flexibility gives your workforce the benefits of freedom. But, how do you do that? Having flexible work hours, which is an excellent benefit of being self-employed. Then, employees are free to decide about their own timetable according to their personal life, energy cycles, any unplanned events, etc.
Request a free demo of the deskbird app to make the most of hybrid work and enhance employee satisfaction!
Paulyne is a hybrid work specialist, who writes about sustainability, flexible work models and employee experience.