As workplaces evolve, work arrangements are changing, too. Employees across the country are saying goodbye to the standard 9 to 5 shift and hello to remote work and flexible schedules.
One work arrangement that’s making its way into workplaces is flex time. To help decrease absenteeism and better fit your employees’ scheduling needs, consider creating a flex time policy for your company.
What is flex time?
Flex time, flextime, or flexible time, is a schedule that allows employees to change the start and end times of their workday(s). With flextime, an employee can adjust their schedule based on life events (e.g., doctor’s appointment).
Flextime is 100% up to the employer. There are no set time frames that flex time must cover or include. And, employers aren’t legally obligated to offer flextime to workers. This means employers are responsible for determining their business’s flextime arrangements (e.g., hours). Here are a few examples of a flextime work schedule:
11 a.m. – 4 p.m., flex, 5:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. 6 a.m. – 10 a.m., flex, 12 p.m. – 4 p.m. 9 a.m. – 1 p.m., flex, 3 p.m. – 5 p.m. 7:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Although any business can offer flex time hours to employees, a flextime plan works best in certain industries (e.g., information technology). Businesses that operate 24-hours per day and need staff both day and night typically benefit from a flextime system.
What does a flex time policy include?
There are a number of things you have to think about when you’re creating your flex time policy. Which employees are able to use flex time? Should employees be available during certain hours of the day? What kinds of guidelines will you have in place?
After you finish breaking down what you plan on including in your flex time work policy, you can begin building it. Keep in mind that no two flextime policies are the same. Policies can vary from business to business and depend on your employees and industry.
Some of the most common sections that businesses include in their flextime policies are:
Employee eligibility Acceptable hours Flextime requests Discipline Employee eligibility
Depending on your type of business, not every employee is a good fit for your flex time policy. For example, a flex time policy may not line up will for an employee who works with customers or clients directly.
Consider which employees can be eligible for flextime at your company. Outline what positions (e.g., IT) and types of employment (e.g., full-time workers) are eligible for flextime in your policy. And, outline the roles that cannot take advantage of flex time.
In your policy, you should also specify what makes certain employees eligible for flextime, such as a solid attendance record and good workplace performance.
Many businesses with flex time policies have a section that details acceptable hours for employees. This section acts as a guideline for employees when they request or use flextime.
In this portion of your policy, include information about:
The number of hours employees have to work per day/week (e.g., 40 hours per week) Acceptable hours/bandwidth (e.g., an employee can work anytime between 6 a.m. and 7 p.m.) Consistency of hours (e.g., working the same flextime hours every day) Lunches and breaks
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