Management Tips··10 min read

What is Flex Time and How Does it Work?

Flex Time - Definition And Examples of Flexible Working Hours

Do you want to retain your existing employees and attract new talent to your team? Besides ramping up salaries, there is one cheaper and easier solution: offering flex time to your employees.

According to Statista, a whopping 51% of employees would change jobs if they were offered flex time as a perk in the workplace. If you don’t have flex hours in your business already, it could be a great way to attract new employees and prevent your best talent from leaving.

But what are flex time schedules, how do they work, and how to introduce them in your workplace? Let’s find out how the concept of flexibility functions in the workplace.

What is flextime?

Flextime is a work arrangement that gives employees flexibility as to when they can start and end their workday. With flextime, employees can work around their personal schedules and still get their work done.

Flextime is a system that allows employees to have greater control over their work schedules and personal lives at the same time.

Under a flextime system, employees can choose when to start and end their workday, as long as they complete the required number of hours. This is a popular option that can give employees more control over their work/life balance and allow them to enjoy a flexible working time schedule.

For example, for employees with children, this could mean attending a school day without worry or dedicating a certain number of monthly hours to a hobby they love. It’s a form of workplace flexibility that is becoming increasingly important as a perk for employees.


How does flextime work?

There are a few different ways that flextime can be implemented for maximum employee utilization.

One common way is to allow employees to choose their own arrival and departure times, within certain limits. For example, an employer may require employees to arrive between 8 and 9 AM, and to depart between 5 and 6 PM. This gives employees some flexibility in choosing when to start and end their workday so that they can e.g. see their children before school.

Another way to implement flextime is to set core hours during which all employees must be present. For example, an employer may require employees to be present from 10 AM to 4 PM. This allows employees to choose their own arrival and departure times within those core hours.

These alternative work schedules can be introduced for all types of employees. Not only remote workers can benefit from them - it’s also possible for hybrid and in-office employees.



Flextime: A Multifaceted Approach to Employee Scheduling

Companies have various methods to implement flextime work schedules, each with its own set of advantages and challenges, especially when it comes to managing attendance matters and the effects on employee health.

Some companies opt for a flexible work arrangement where employees can choose their own hours, provided they meet a certain number of days per week. This approach is particularly beneficial for accounting firms or other businesses with fluctuating workloads. It allows employees the freedom to manage their time frame effectively while ensuring that office supplies and office space are used efficiently.

Other organizations have set hours but offer the flexibility for employees to choose when they take their lunch breaks or when they start and end their workdays. This is often done to accommodate other commitments, such as school schedules. The focus here is on achieving the right employee outcomes while still maintaining a perspective on employees' needs.

Some companies go for a core time strategy, where there are specific core hours during which all employees must be present. Outside of these core hours, employees have the flexibility to choose their own working hours. This model can also include flex periods, allowing for short-term working time adjustments based on project needs or personal commitments.

Another popular model is the compressed workweek.

Here, employees work longer hours for fewer days per week, often resulting in a three-day weekend. This model is excellent for job sharing and can be a win-win for both the employer and the flextime workers, especially when overtime hours are a consideration.

Regardless of the approach, companies should consider long-term working time accounts and flexible working time accounts to track and manage employee hours effectively. Communication hours, or the time dedicated to team meetings and updates, should also be factored into any flextime policy to ensure smooth operations.

There are a lot of different ways to implement flex time schedules, and the best way for a company to do it depends on the needs of the business and the employees.

However, there are some essential elements of flextime that all companies should consider.

  • For employees, flex time schedules can lead to a better work-life balance. It can allow employees to take care of personal errands or appointments during the day, without having to take time off from work, which all leads to better life satisfaction. And it can allow employees to stagger their work hours so that they can avoid rush hour traffic.
  • For companies, flex time schedules can lead to increased productivity and morale. Employees who have a good work-life balance are generally more productive, and employees who are happy with their work hours are more likely to stick around.

If your company is considering implementing flextime, there are a few things to keep in mind.

  • First, you need to make sure that all employees are aware of the flexible work policies and understand how they work, as well as the general concept of flexibility.
  • Second, you need to be flexible in how you implement the flexible work policies – different employees will have different needs, and you need to be able to accommodate those needs. For example, salaried workers will have different rules and needs compared to contractors, part-time employees, and freelancers.

What are the pros and cons of flextime?

There are many pros and cons to flextime. Some people feel that flextime is a great way to increase productivity and work/life balance, while others believe that it can lead to decreased productivity and more work/life conflict.


The pros of flextime

  • Increased employee efficiency and productivity: When employees have more control over their work schedule, they are more likely to be productive and get more work done. Of course, this only applies if you have some essential elements in place, such as accurate time tracking.
  • Improved work/life balance: Flextime can help employees better balance their work and personal lives. This can lead to improved mental and physical health, as well as increased job satisfaction.
  • Increased morale: Employees who feel like they have a good work/life balance are often more satisfied with their jobs and have higher morale compared to those in non-flexible arrangements.
  • More engaged employees: When employees are more engaged with their work, they are more likely to be productive and stay with the company longer, resulting in better employee outcomes and more revenue for your business.
  • Better retention: When employees are happy with their job, they are less likely to leave the company. This way, flexible hours can actually save the company money in the long run.
  • Attracts top talent: Companies that offer flexible hours may have an easier time attracting and retaining top talent. From the perspectives of employees, this is a great perk to highlight when hiring.
  • Improved customer service: With better life satisfaction and a good work/life balance, employees may be more likely to provide better customer service compared to employees working in non-flexible arrangements.
  • Increased profitability: Companies that offer flexible working hours may see increased profits due to increased productivity and engagement, as well as improved retention.
  • Health benefits: some employees with cognitive disabilities may find it easier to navigate these schedules compared to firm 9-5 setups.
  • More money for the employees: no more sitting for hours in congested rush hour traffic. Whether it’s buying tickets or spending gas money, savings are plenty. Moreover, they can avoid something called congestion times. In various countries, congestion times are those hours when commuters have to pay a fee to drive, e.g. between the hours of 7 AM and 6 PM.

The cons of flextime

  • Difficult to manage: Flextime can be difficult to manage, as different employees may have different schedules. This can lead to confusion and frustration among employees and managers who want the best employee utilization along with top-tier employee outcomes.
  • Not suitable for all businesses: Flexible working hours may not be suitable for all businesses, as some businesses may require employees to be available during specific hours. You can now make scheduling flexible time effortless with Unrubble.
  • Requires trust: Flextime requires more trust between employees and managers when compared with a non-flexible arrangement. If there is no trust, employees may abuse their flexible schedule. This can be solved by using time cards, time sheets and attendance tracking software. And don’t worry about time card errors - Unrubble solves this problem with a dedicated time tracking app.
  • Can be expensive: Offering flexible working hours can be expensive, as businesses may need to invest in additional resources (such as attendance software) to accommodate different schedules and get the best employee efficiency. You may need to introduce things such as time cards and different attendance systems, which could be too rich for your business.

What are the challenges of flextime?

From the perspective of employees:

As a flextime employee, one of the challenges you may face is finding a balance between work and personal or family time, especially when compared to traditional schedules. This struggle can affect your employee satisfaction and even your overall health. Imagine picking up your children after school and still having work to do during your core working hours. You may feel compelled to jump back into work mode to wrap up some tasks. This kind of labor flexibility, while offering a definition of flexibility, is not always ideal and can lead to a loss of life satisfaction.

From the perspective of the employer:

For employers, flextime policy management can be challenging. The core period of work needs to be defined clearly to ensure that employees are actually working the hours per week they are supposed to, which is crucial for employee retention. With flextime, there's the potential for employees to work fewer hours than scheduled, leading to issues with attendance and decreased productivity. This can ultimately affect employee morale and the company's profits.

How to preserve work-life balance while working flexible hours?

Unrubble, a time tracking app, offers a solution to these challenges and is a path to better employee outcomes. It can track hours per day and manage or schedule working hours, making it useful for both remote employees and those following a flextime schedule. Whether you need time sheets, time cards, or attendance tracking, Unrubble has your back.

Flextime can be a great way to manage your time and priorities but can also pose challenges to employee efficiency. For instance, non-exempt employees may find it difficult to manage comp time or extra hours effectively. Unrubble ensures that tracking time, even during busy seasons or on a trial basis, is no longer a daunting task.

Managing a flexible work schedule is key to maintaining work-life balance. Whether you're juggling extra time at work or focusing on employee loyalty, a well-managed flextime work policy can make all the difference.

Start using flex time schedules today!

Introducing a flexible schedule in your workplace is easier than you may think. All it takes is dedication to your employees and a time tracking tool like Unrubble to help you get started.

With Unrubble, you can track your employees’ time no matter where they are - remote, hybrid or in the office. Get access to individual employees’ timesheets and make sure that everyone is doing their share of the work, regardless of their daily schedule.

Sign up for your free trial and embrace workplace flexibility today!

Frequently asked questions

What is an example of flex time?

A good example of flex time would be a place where one employee can start at 9 AM and finish at 5 PM while someone else can start at 11 AM and finish at 7 PM. Both employees work the same hours but at different times. There are different types of flextime arrangements out there, but don’t copy - build your own flexible work policies.

What are core hours in flex time setups?

Core hours are those hours when every employee should be online or working. For example, 1-3 PM every work day. While individual employees can have different setups around the clock, everyone should be present during those hours to ensure collaboration and maximum productivity. You can set these core hours up in your attendance systems to ensure maximum employee utilization.

Can you have flex days?

Yes, many companies have flexible work policies like Flex Fridays where one or more days in the week or month are flexible, while others are traditional, fixed hours. This is a good way to get the best out of both worlds and ensure better employee outcomes. These are just as easy to set up in the right attendance software.

What is the right work-life balance for employee?

To get the best employee outcomes, simply ask them what kind of schedules work for them. No amounts of time tracking can save you if you create a schedule that no one wants to follow. Some people want to pick up children after school, others want to avoid congested rush hour traffic, and some don’t even care for flextime arrangements.

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