DEVELOPING A FLEX TIME POLICY:Flextime refers to a flexible work schedule that allows an employee to customize their work hours throughout the week in a manner that accommodates their own private activities (Heithfield, 2012). This concept has become more popular with technological advancement which enables employees to work from any location. For example, an individual can log into their company’s website from home and get their work done.Advantages and disadvantages of flex time policiesFlexible work schedule carries advantages for both the employee and the employer (Heithfield, 2012). For the employee, a flexible work schedule gives them an opportunity to cater for their private needs and to meet family obligations conveniently. This is important as the modern workplace leaves no space for one to focus on their private lives. This has resulted in social problems such as divorce, drug abuse, and unfulfilled personal lives. Adoption of flexible work schedules is a solution to these problems. Second, the schedule helps employees avoid the stress associated with commuting during peak hours. Employees waste a lot of time in traffic while commuting to work.Flexible work schedules enable the employee to go to work or leave in off-peak hours, which enables them to save time and to use their hours more productively (Nichol, 2017). The workplace is a stressful compound which is often characterized by work overload, competition and sometimes even depression. These are all dangerous to the employee’s mental health. A flexible work schedule serves to relax the employee as they can take a break when necessary. This ultimately improves their productivity at the workplace. Employers benefit from a flexible work schedule as it boosts their employees’ morale. This promotes productivity. It has proven to be a useful strategy in retaining talented employees. In addition, absenteeism rates are reduced as employees are given time to cater for personal needs. Moreover, this can be viewed as a strategy that boosts the company’s image thus attracting the most competent employees.However, flexible work schedules also carry various disadvantages for both the employees and the employers. First, employees whose productivity is boosted in an office environment may be compromised by those who do not hold a similar work schedule (Nichol, 2017). In addition, flexible work schedules may result in poor relationships outside the workplace simply because the individual is viewed as lazy. This is especially the case in a family set up.Moreover, flexibility might result in an employee being forced to work around the clock. There is no guarantee that the employee won’t have to work when at home. Some employers oppose flexible time schedules as they hinder teamwork. Moreover, this policy may hinder productivity in cases where employees are not self- driven enough to fulfill their responsibilities from home. It may also result in conflicts at the workplace as work- at home, colleagues are viewed as slackers by office-oriented counterparts. Lastly, such a policy hinders productivity in business models that require face to face interaction with the customers.Steps in developing a flex-time policyThere are five basic steps in establishing a flex-time policy. The first step is to understand flexible work (Morgan, 2014). This involves identifying work that can be performed by the employees regardless of time and location without compromising on the quality of company output. This step should also involve case studies of companies that have adopted flex time policies to find out how they accomplished this and what the effects were. It is also important for the employer to identify the reasons why the company needs the policy. This helps in developing goals that the policy is expected to accomplish.The second step is to identify specific areas in the company that can be subject to the flex time policy. The employer should determine the type of flexibility that can be offered (Larson, 2015). The form of flexibility chosen should be compatible with your business model. You may also choose to adopt different types of flexibility, with different categories of employees qualifying for different types of flexibility (Morales, 2016). The manager must recognize that the policy does not have to implement with all departments, but rather it can be implemented using a phased approach (Morgan, 2014). The manager may choose to start with departments whose workload is flexible n nature such as the Public Relations department, sales, and marketing departments. One must consider the nature of their business as there are companies which are remote and work with flexible development teams.The third step is to design the policy (Morales, 2016). The employer should create a team with people from different departments to give their views on how the policy should be. The policy should also include reasons why the policy is being established, its goals, instructions on the approvals required to implement it and how the policy shall be implemented. It should also include the management structure in charge of preventing misunderstandings and providing support in implementation (Larson, 2015).The fourth step is to try out a program (Morgan, 2014). This involves setting up basic guidelines on how the flex time policy should be used. This step should involve the executive management talking with the employees such that they understand the significance and limitations of the policy. The employer should ensure that all employees have the necessary technology to make the policy a success. He should also establish rules on how the team shall communicate and stay updated. He should also ensure that the employees are accountable with their freedom by informing them of consequences of failing to follow the program. The program should be reinforced through monitoring and measuring its success in achieving the set-out goals.Tips for managing flexible schedule workersEmployers often have a hard time managing employees under a flextime work schedule. The first tip in managing the workers is by having clearly defined responsibilities of all parties involved in the policy (Kratz, 2016). The employees should be well informed on the dos and don’ts under the policy and repercussions in case they break the rules. The second tip is to ensure that there is communication between the employees and the employers. The company can use avenues such as instant messaging, email, face to face communication to ensure that the employees can communicate with the employer even when they are outside the office. Employers should encourage their employees to use the avenues and give their feedback on the policy. This forms a basis for adjusting the policy to make it more effective.Metrics should be made an important component of the policy. The employer should develop metrics to measure the success of the set policy and use this as a decision-making tool. It is also important for the employer to set a good example (Kratz, 2016). He should also adopt a flexible schedule to see how it affects his productivity. This helps the employer gain insight on how it can be improved. In addition, the employer should follow the guidelines of the policy such that the rest of the employees can do the same. Lastly, managers ought to be trained on how to manage flexible workers. Managers should know which questions to ask employees to determine accountability.ReferencesHeithfield, Laura (2012) Guide to securing part time jobs that fit your schedule San Francisco, California: Hyperlink
Nichol, Jamie (2017) Pros and cons of flextime schedules, https://cultureiq.com/employee-engagement-best-practices-flextime/
Larson, Jess Vyvial (2015) 4 steps to create a formal flex work policy in your company, https://www.flexjobs.com/employer-blog/4-steps-create-formal-flexwork-policy-company/
Morales, Manar (2016) 5 simple steps to a successful flex policy, https://www.workingmother.com/5-simple-steps-to-successful-flex-policy
Kratz, Greg (2016) 5 tips for managing flexible schedule workers, https://www.flexjobs.com/employer-blog/5-tips-for-managing-flexible-schedule-workers/
Morgan, Jacob (2014) 5 steps to make flexible work a reality at your company, https://www.forbes.com/sites/jacobmorgan/2014/03/04/5-steps-to-make-flexible-work-a-reality-at-your-company/#22baeb967e16
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