Flex work weeks (or Compressed workweeks) are growing in popularity amongst employers who are facing increasing turnover costs and a demand for a commute friendly corporate solution and even more so with employees who desire autonomy and freedom in the workplace.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics defines a flexible work schedule as an alternative to the traditional 9 to 5, 40-hour work week. It allows employees to vary their arrival and/or departure times. Under some policies, employees must work a prescribed number of hours a pay period and be present during a daily “core time.” The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) does not address flexible work schedules. Alternative work arrangements such as flexible work schedules are a matter of agreement between the employer and the employee (or the employee’s representative). The Department of Labor has conducted numerous surveys and published articles and reports on the subject.
The Society of Human Resource Management reports that turnover costs are estimated to be 100-300% of the replaced employee’s cost. Offering flextime to employees reduces turnover and serves as a benefit both to employers and employees. Reduce absenteeism, boost morale, cut commute costs and make your workplace more effective by implementing flextime into your corporate culture. More flextime benefits provided by Washington State University Cooperative Extension Energy Program in collaboration with Commuter Challenge and with additional support provided by Washington State Department of Transportation:
Enhance Retention and Recruitment
Work options are very popular with employees. Faced with the demands of family, community, school and ever-longer commutes, more and more workers are seeking flexible schedules. In times of low unemployment, compressed work weeks and flextime can help you recruit and retain the best workers.
Extend Hours of Service
To remain competitive, many firms have extended hours of customer service and production in recent years. If you are serving customers in different time zones, this is especially important. Some organizations utilize a team approach with a variety of compressed work weeks and flextime schedules to cover the extra hours.
Expand Use of Equipment
Increasing the number of hours in a workday expands access to expensive equipment and reduces competition for equipment at peak hours. This is especially useful in functions like data entry or production where access to or use of equipment is an issue.
Improve Scheduling for Peak Workloads
Compressed work weeks shifts and flextime schedules may be overlapped to meet peak activity times during one part of the day, week or month.
Increase Employees’ Job Knowledge
Employees covering for co-workers on different schedules have an opportunity to learn new skills. This cross training benefits the employee, the unit and the organization and provides potential coverage for peak periods, vacations and sick leaves.
Reduce Tardiness and Absenteeism
Employers generally report a reduction in tardiness and absenteeism for employees on work options. This is attributed to the employees’ ability to commute outside of the rush hour and their increased flexibility in scheduling appointments and running errands.
Boost Employee Morale
Employees who have access to work options are happier and more supportive of organizational goals.
Improve Employee Performance
Employees are able to work during the part of their day when they are most effective. Giving employees a choice about when they work can mean getting more work done in the same number of hours.
Develop a More Effective Workforce
Alternative Work Arrangements promote cross training, teamwork, management by results and diversity strategies.
Comply with Federal Regulations
Employees with disabilities may need flexibility in when they work. Work options provide this flexibility and also help the organization provide staff coverage when employees are absent because of family emergencies.
Respond to Natural Disasters
Earthquakes, storms and floods that impact the transportation system and other infrastructure make it difficult to get to work. Organizations can prepare for these emergencies and restore operations more quickly when employees have the option to travel outside of the rush hour or compress their work week into fewer days.
Become a Green Business
Many organizations implement strategies to green their business. Green programs increase mobility, improve air quality and reduce energy use. Compressed work weeks and flextime support these goals by enabling employees to commute outside of the rush hour. In addition, compressed work weeks may keep employees off the road one or two days a week.
Join the employers that offer flextime. Learn more about this and other commuting options at hhtp://www.frederickcountymd.gov/transit.