Educational

What Companies Can Do to Make Flex Scheduling Work


Flexible scheduling is a luxury that few workplaces support, but many employees love having the option to work on their own time and cater to their peak productive hours.

If you want to support your employees in the best way possible, you’ll consider flex scheduling as a legitimate option that provides your employees with an inclusive way to influence their own working life. It might also help them stick around longer if they know you are interested in customizing their work life around what they need most.

What Is Flex Scheduling?

flex scheduling
Flex scheduling

Flex scheduling is a type of work that allows employees to take the reins and choose their best working environment and hours. It isn’t a complicated concept – anything that falls out of the traditional workplace 9-5 can be considered flex scheduling or flex work.

This type of scheduling may not be for every workplace, but if you can offer it to employees, you should consider it. Productivity may increase as a result.

This form of working benefits several categories of people. It also helps ensure that your workplace is more accessible for people who may not feel they work their best in an office environment. Inclusivity makes people feel valued and respected and they’ll be better able to do their jobs from an accommodation that works for them.

By working from home, people with disabilities can do their best work in a comfortable environment designed to accommodate them. Overall, flexible scheduling is something people have seen before with hybrid working models. Since everyone has a basic knowledge of what it is, it can be easy to implement in your workplace, too.

Types of Flexible Schedules

There are several types of flexible schedules that can allow your employees to work to the best of their abilities. These systems are just a few examples of all the different ways your employees can work from the office or home while maintaining the same level of productivity.

1. Remote Working

remote work - flex scheduling
No office required

Employees working from an office might benefit from having a few days working from home. Some people have switched to full-time remote work from a home office, which could also save money on office space for companies. Though numbers have dropped since the beginning of

the pandemic, hybrid and remote work are expected to be key contenders for white-collar work as time goes on.

People have begun to look at their homes as safe places to dwell after the COVID-19 pandemic, so they want to spend more time at home. Giving someone a secure place to work might help them feel more relaxed and less on edge, which can encourage them to do better work in a more timely manner.

2. Choose Your Own Hours

Not everyone has the same productivity level throughout the day. Many people rely on a sleep chronotype to tell them when their peak hours of productivity are, and the animal-based types can teach people about their ideal working environment. Here are the chronotypes that the majority of people follow:

  • Bear: These people follow the sun and traditional office hours well.
  • Dolphin: These people need very little sleep to function well.
  • Lion: These people are early birds and are most productive in the morning.
  • Wolf: These people are night owls and are most productive in the evening.

Other people may want to choose their own hours to work around certain time-based events in their lives. Some people may have children they need to drop off at school and would prefer an earlier or later start, depending on their children’s schedules.

Others might want freer afternoons to go home and prepare things for their family’s evening. Everyone will have different reasons for wanting to work the hours they do.

3. Part-Time Work

Define your schedule

Some people may not be able to commit to full-time work anymore, but they’re great employees and the company doesn’t want to let them go. In this case, an employee may opt for part-time work that can be scheduled around whatever conflict keeps them away from full-time work.

These employees should work just as hard as they did when they were full-time employees. Once they feel comfortable tackling full-time hours again, you can boost them back up to that responsibility.

How to Make Flex Scheduling Happen

Flex scheduling might be tricky to get a hold of at first. Still, once you understand what you’re doing and how you can benefit your employees the most, you’ll likely see increased productivity from wherever and whenever they’re working.

The most important part of your employees’ jobs is that they do their work well – and flex scheduling can help them accomplish that task.

1. Workshop Guidelines

First, you’ll need to set guidelines for your flexible schedules. You might consider rolling it out to one small group rather than everyone all at once. You’ll have to consider whether flex scheduling will be available to people upon hiring or if it’s more merit-based.

Figure out the logistics. Will there be “core hours” when you need everyone to be available for work-related tasks, questions, and announcements?

Once you have all your guidelines set down, run them by your workplace. People may see some as fair and others as unfair. By workshopping the guidelines together, you’ll be able to create a flex system that benefits you and your employees similarly.

2. Find a Channel of Communication

When your whole office is scattered, you may find it more challenging to communicate. Your employees could have talked to one another in the office, but when they’re in their own homes or coming in at staggered times, they may run into roadblocks for certain projects. You can remedy this issue by finding an app that allows your team to communicate seamlessly.

If you want to ensure your plan remains accessible to everyone, ensure the communication app can be used on desktop and mobile. That way, people who have smartphones can install it on their phones, while other people who may want a more defined work-life balance can keep it open on their computers.

Communication in the workplace can eliminate so many misunderstandings and allow you to connect with your teammates better by understanding more about them and their workflows. Having an app that allows you to reach your teammates instantly rather than waiting for an email to be answered can quickly clear up any confusion – almost as easily as if everyone were back in the office.

3. Plan With Employees

Keep employees involved in planning

Involve your employees in every step of the plan. With their guidance, you’ll better understand their needs and what they expect from a flex scheduling system. When you have your employees planning alongside you, they’ll be able to tell you why they need flexible scheduling and you can help them map out their workdays around what they want and need.

The most important part of your employees’ jobs is that they do their work well – and flex scheduling can help them accomplish that task.

4. Trial Run the Flex Schedule

Once you have a basic plan, it’s time to trial run your flex scheduling experiment. You may choose to start with one department instead of the whole workplace, or you might opt to give everyone a fair experience and see how they fare on an individual level.

Set a time for the trial run. Especially if you plan to run a large-scale flex scheduling experiment, having a set end time is crucial to understanding what you can improve about the program.

5. Measure Satisfaction

As with any experiment, you’ll need to measure the results to see if it’s a good fit for your team. Flex scheduling allows your employees a degree of freedom they might not be ready for, but others may take the freedom and do a stellar job with it. A case-by-case basis could help you decide whether to stick with flex scheduling or roll it out over time.

Be sure to ask for feedback from your employees. They now have firsthand experience with flex scheduling and can help you understand what worked well and what needs some improvement. The improvement might be on their end or it could have to do with the model of flex scheduling you suggested.

Above all, listen to feedback and take it to heart for the betterment of your employees and your company.

Consider Flex Scheduling for Everyone

Over time, your goal should be to allow everyone to choose some sort of flexible schedule for themselves. You want people to work their best, and with you supporting them, that’s a more attainable goal than ever. Flex scheduling allows everyone to do their best in the most comfortable way they know how. Do whatever you can to support your teammates and they’ll do their best work in return.

About the Author

“Rose Morrison is a home living writer with over five years experience. She is the managing editor of Renovated.com, a home living site where she loves to cover home renovations and decor to inspire everyone to live their best DIY life. When she isn’t writing, you’ll find her baking something to satisfy her never-ending sweet tooth. For more articles from Rose, you can follow her on Twitter.”

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