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Flexible Working Hours

What are Flexible working hours?


Flexible working hours, often known as flextime or a flexible work schedule, refers to a workday that begins and ends at times other than the typical 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Flexible working hours essentially indicate that employees can start working earlier or later in the day than originally planned.

Flexible working hours are usually determined by the employment requirements, how the company functions within its industry, and the employee's preferences or demands. An employee, for example, can work from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., or any other period that suits them. Working hours are kept in contract between an employer and their boss. 


How often do employees work with flexible hours?


When employees have a flexible working schedule, their bosses expect them to work for a fixed number of hours, or more in some situations. Two sorts of workweeks with a flexible schedule are as follows:


Compressed workweek


This alternative timetable, rather than a traditional five-day workweek, minimises the amount of days an employee works per week. Employees typically work four 10-hour days during a shortened workweek. This gives employees an extra day off, allowing them to achieve a better work-life balance. Employees can, for example, take off Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday, or any other three days that best suit their needs or preferences. Employers are willing to accommodate this flexibility as long as the employee completes their duties.


Daily flexible schedule


Employees can start and end their shifts early with a daily flexible schedule. They can also stay late and start late, or take a longer lunch break to make up for lost time. This form of work schedule is agreed upon by both employers and employees.

Other workplaces give their employees more flexibility when it comes to working hours. Employees can often start and end their shift whenever they wish, as long as they complete all of their job responsibilities and meet their objectives.


How do flexible hour schedules work?


Employees will be expected to follow a set of flexible hours as their normal schedule once they've agreed on a flexible schedule with their manager. They  must notify their boss if they work hours that are not part of the flexible schedule. Employees must devote time and effort to help achieve their objectives in order for this structure to operate. They must also produce the same level of quality and quantity of work as a full-time employee.

Employers can use quantifiable goals and make sure staff understand what's expected of them to ensure this happens. Employees and managers must build a level of confidence in order to operate on a flexible schedule.


Benefits of flexible working hours


Flexible hours have the ability to provide numerous benefits for employees, depending on your point of view. You'll be better able to assess whether this timetable is beneficial to your habits and productivity once you've learned about these advantages. Here are some of the advantages of working flexible hours:


1. Flexible workweek


Employees that work flexible hours have more control over their workday and can begin and end it whenever they wish. This enables individuals to schedule their workweek around other obligations, such as doctor appointments or picking up their children from school. In other words, it enables employees to create a schedule that is compatible with their personal lives and family obligations.


2. Increased productivity


Employees can choose to work during quieter hours of the day when they choose  own hours. As employees progress through many jobs and goals, this can help them be more productive and focused.


3. Greater job satisfaction


Being able to determine one's own working hours might give employees a sense of power. Being in charge might make them feel more inspired and appreciated at work. It can also contribute to increased job satisfaction, which could lead to lower employee turnover.


4. The ability to avoid traffic


Employees can set their start and end times to avoid rush-hour traffic if they have a flexible work schedule. This will save time spent commuting to and from work. 

Drawbacks of flexible working hours


While having a flexible work schedule has numerous advantages, it also has a number of disadvantages. Understanding both can assist employees in making a more educated judgement about whether or not this work style is right for them. Consider the following drawbacks of flexible working hours:


1. Meetings are difficult to schedule


If a large number of employees have a flexible work schedule, they are likely to have various work schedules. It can be difficult to determine everyone's availability when scheduling a meeting. If managers want to have a meeting at 9 a.m., but other employees don't start working until 11 a.m., they'll need to make special arrangements. It's considerably more difficult to organise company meetings with diverse time zones if they have staff in other regions of the world.


2. Lack of boundaries


While having a flexible work schedule allows employees to achieve a better work-life balance, they may find themselves in situations where their personal lives may be interfered more than they'd like. For instance, children may interrupt team meetings, or one might have to do a laundry run during the day. While one may be able to fit these events in their schedule, putting off work for too long can reduce productivity and overall output. 

3. There is less structure


Working from home and having a flexible work schedule may need more discipline than working in an office. For example, if an employee doesn't have a defined workplace or if they have a lot of duties to do around the house, they'll be more likely to be distracted from their work. While the employee may battle this by setting up a home office and establishing boundaries, it's also crucial to discover a work style that is most favourable to their productivity.


4. Connecting with coworkers is difficult


Employees with diverse work schedules find it more difficult to connect with and interact with their coworkers. If they don't have the same work schedule, it will be difficult for them to work together as a team and for the organisation to feel united.