Flex Time for Your Small Business: 3 Important Questions to Answer

Flex Time for Your Small Business: 3 Important Questions to Answer

This article was updated on Sept. 5, 2018.

Offering flex time promotes better work-life balance for employees, because with flex time, employees can alter the normal work schedule to one that better fits their needs, without lessening the total hours worked in a given workweek. However, before incorporating a flexible work policy into your business, you should answer the following three questions:

1. Who May Benefit From This Offering?

In general, a flexible schedule may benefit your employees, specifically those that require flexibility for important responsibilities outside of work.

Before offering employees a flexible work schedule, determine their needs. For instance, one of your employees may find that her family's morning commute is problematic because she needs to drop off her child at school at 8:30 a.m. but also needs to adhere to the standard work schedule of 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. By moving to a flexible schedule, that particular employee's shift can change to 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., for example.

She can be on time for work and still drop off her child without the need for outside help or hired assistance. Having a flexible work arrangement allows this employee to take a more active part in her child's life and relieves potential financial strain. This, in turn, can positively affect her work-life balance.

2. Who Is Appropriate for This Flexibility?

You should try to anticipate potential issues that may arise from a flexible work arrangement to determine if it is appropriate for a specific employee. For example, your sales team could become understaffed during certain hours of the day when they need to take incoming sales calls. In this case, a possible solution would be to offer a flexible work schedule, but with the condition of required on-site work hours. For instance, if sales calls peak between 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., you could require sales employees to be on-site at that time.

3. Does the Flexible Schedule Benefit the Employee and the Business?

A flexible schedule should benefit both the employee and your business. You should regularly monitor the performance of employees during a flexible work arrangement. Then, note any benefits to your business, such as increased productivity and work satisfaction, along with any detriments, such as potential unavailability during critical work hours. This will help you determine whether you should continue to incorporate this policy into your business.

Offering flex time is an opportunity to promote work-life balance for your employees. If you monitor the impact of changes and take a realistic approach to the benefits and drawbacks, you'll be able to implement the best policies for you and your employees.