Happy, relaxed and healthy employees are more likely to be highly focused and productive at work compared to those who are stressed and unhealthy. It’s good for businesses to give employees flexibility in their work hours, but companies often worry about the practicalities of facilitating this working model. Here are three methods for managing your team’s flexible hours at work.
Flexitime with core work hours
When you have a core work hours policy, employees must work a proportion of their hours at a predefined time while making up the rest of their hours at times that suit them. For example, an employee working 40 hours per week must work between the core hours of 10 am and 2 pm daily. They can work their remaining 20 hours whenever they choose.
Core hours make it easy to arrange team meetings and they allow employees to communicate and collaborate with one another with ease. The downside of flexitime is that it can be hard to reach team members outside of the core hours, which could be a problem when managing time-sensitive projects. A solution to this is to have employees maintain a calendar of their working hours that they complete in advance so that their colleagues and managers can see which hours they’re choosing to work.
When an employee compresses their hours, they work for longer blocks across fewer days. This is a common way for team members to achieve full-time hours while taking more days off from work. For example, an employee working 40 hours per week could work from 8 am to 7 pm Monday to Thursday, with an hour for lunch each day. This allows them to not work at all on Fridays.
Compressed hours can give employees a better work-life balance because they can achieve longer blocks of time away from work. This can help them feel relaxed and refreshed with each new week. It can also help them better juggle childcare or their personal hobbies with work. The downside is that some people can find themselves getting burned out when working very long days.
Job sharing is when two or more people share the hours and responsibilities of a full-time job. It’s a great way to attract talented employees who want part-time hours to roles that have a full-time workload. Each employee usually works the same predetermined days and hours each week, but they divide the hours in a way that suits them. When one of the employees is off sick or takes annual leave, the other employee is often expected to cover those hours.
47% of businesses in Australia currently offer job-share opportunities. A big benefit of job sharing is that you have a more diverse set of skills and experience covering a single role. Plus, in the event that one of the employees leaves, there’s continuity of knowledge and skills as an experienced employee remains while a new hire is trained.
The downside is that businesses must handle administration and supervision for two employees rather than one for a single role. Plus, it can be challenging to find compatible work partners unless they already have a proven track record of working together.
Flexible working makes for happier employees
Studies have found that employees who have flexible work hours are happier, more motivated, and more likely to remain with their current employer than those who don’t. By implementing one of the flexible work strategies above, your organisation can increase employee satisfaction and reap the benefits.