Successful Work Life Balance With Flexible Working Hours

work-life-balance

I thought that this would be a good continuation of last week’s post. We talked about why persistence is key for your business when giving up is not an option. One of the first points that I had listed was about the importance of taking a break. I found this quote about taking rest and fell in love with it.

“Take rest; a field that has rested gives a bountiful crop”.  – Ovid

So, today I want to talk about not just taking a quick break but scheduling flexible work schedules and offering flextime. There are many benefits to flextime and it helps create a work-life balance.

BMO Harris Bank conducted a study that showed that when you allow employees to have flexible work hours that it is actually good for productivity. They found that 53% of employers felt that offering flextime to their best employees was just as valuable as a pay increase.

Not every business has the ability to offer flextime, however, those that do have found that people are still very dedicated to their job. This is understandable because you are giving people the opportunity and the freedom to do things outside of work. Things like attending soccer practices or being able to stay home with the kids when they are sick. Flexible work hours can be beneficial to those that don’t have a family as well, maybe for travel or hobbies. It’s a great way to show employee recognition. Flexible working hours build a great formula for a successful work life balance.

This biggest plus about flextime is that it supports the work-life balance ethic. This in turn creates happier employees. When you have happier employees they are more likely to remain persistent and productive. If you think about it, it’s the happy medium between being a full-time employee and an entrepreneur. Most entrepreneurs get into business because they want more freedom. Well, flextime offers that freedom with out the stress of owning a business.

This video form ABC News Australia reiterates a lot of the key points mentioned above. It also, brings up another point that some people may be reluctant to ask for flexible hours believing that it won’t be granted. You don’t know unless you ask.

 

A Few Things to Remember if You Offer Flextime

  1. Flextime should always begin with a trial period.
  2. Make sure that employees are clear on what is expected of them to accomplish in a given period of time.
  3. Make sure everyone knows their position and responsibility.
  4. Make sure employees are clear on the limitations that you have set on their flextime. Set guidelines and procedures.

What are your thoughts on work life balance with flexible working hours? Would you offer flextime to your employees? How would you benefit from working flexible hours?

68 thoughts on “Successful Work Life Balance With Flexible Working Hours

  1. I have always loved the idea of flex-time but agree that it isn’t always possible for an employer to offer such a perk. In my former company, we could only offer such to folks that did not have direct customer contact. Originally we thought that might bring on some bad feelings…that some could and some could not, but it really didn’t work out that way! We were delighted that most everyone seemed to feel that as long as the ours devoted were equal, it didn’t matter. As to the break…what a fabulous quote!
    Jacqueline Gum (Jacquie) recently posted…Father’s Day… Where’s The Justice?My Profile

  2. Flexible hours is essential since the majority of human beings are night owls. Despite that working hours are fixed to suit early birds.

    Consequently companies need to have flexible hours. If not, their employees will not be as productive as they could be.

    Most companies in Scandinavia have flexible hours.

  3. Flexible working hours have been a life saver for so many couples with childcare responsibilities. I have always worked Flexi-time and really enjoy the benefits. When the kids were young, it was handy for dropping them to school and picking them up. Luckily, we also have the option for working from home one day a week and it really helps me as I can work longer hours on the day I am working from home and make up my hours for the week.

  4. In a company I worked for a while ago we had flextime and it was great. I am a strong supporter of both flextime and remote working. In this age of technology it is a benefit to everyone to be able to work the hours unconfined by physical or time constraints. That said, I totally understand that it is not for every company, or for every worker. Some companies need a physical presence in the office and for that matter some employees want to get to the office as it promotes a healthier environment for them to work in. The benefit is that the choice is out there.
    Tim recently posted…GratefulMy Profile

  5. Hi Arleen. I am very much in favour of flex hours wherever it is practicable. Granted there are positions where customer considerations are prohibitive but in most cases obstacles can be overcome and properly handled it is a perceived benefit that costs little or nothing and a great boost to both productivity and morale
    Paul Graham recently posted…Monday Matters: The Big Engine That Could ?My Profile

  6. I had flexible hours for most of my working life. Although there were often other demands of the job impacting work-life balance, flexible hours did make it easier, particularly with coordinating day care and other parental duties with my husband. I’ve learned that flex time means different things at different companies. In my experience, it meant there were core hours you were expected to be there and you worked the remaining of your weekly hours around that. If you were an early person, you could start early and leave early. I was also able to work a shorter day one day if I needed to deal with family appointments and make the time up another day in the week. I’d work contracts at client sites. The expectation was that I conform to client hours. Fortunately, most of the client sites I worked at also had flexible hours. Scheduling meetings can be a challenge with flex hours, but it can be handled.
    Donna Janke recently posted…Technology and Traditional Museum ExhibitsMy Profile

  7. I totally agree, Arleen – flexible working hours help you achieve and maintain work-life balance. I love the idea of introducing flextime in a company among employees.

    But the business owner should be careful – not everyone would handle the flextime the same way. In some cases, people don’t handle freedom well – e.g. their productivity may fall due to poor time management skills; or the quality of their work may suffer because they don’t handle well responsibility; and so on.

    But as you said start with a trial and be clear about terms and expectations! That should be enough to reveal if flextime would have a positive effect on a certain employee or not. 😀
    Diana Marinova recently posted…Guest Blogging Guidelines If You Want to Get Published HereMy Profile

  8. I think flextime hours are an incredible employee benefit and hopefully more companies will begin to realize how valuable they are to employees, especially those raising children or those with sick or elderly family members. Work/life balance is crucial to maintaining happy employees and reducing turnover.
    Susan Cooper recently posted…K Viognier (Columbia Valley): #WineMy Profile

  9. Flexible working hours definitely makes me happier! My most flexible “regular” job was when I was teaching college. Other than being in the classroom at the time of my class, it was up to me to set my office hours and structure my time. I really enjoyed having that power over my schedule. Now that I’m working independently, I still enjoy being able to set my own hours.

  10. I sometimes think boss’s get this mentality similar to Ahab in Moby Dick. “there is one God that is Lord over the Earth, and one Captain that is lord over the Pequod.”
    There are some who would rather lose profit, if it means they lost some control of authority over their workers. And giving them flexible hours is a threat to that authority.

  11. Both my husband and I have had very flexible schedules for quite some time and wouldn’t trade it for the world. He keeps more traditional working hours than me when he’s at home because he has regular conference calls. As for me, I tried to keep traditional hours, but realized I work better in the PM than the AM hours. Companies should be as flexible as possible on this front. When I worked in the highly-regimented world of public schools, it was always quite frustrating when administrators wouldn’t give teachers blocks of time to plan lessons, etc on days when students weren’t attending. Adults can and should be trusted to make use of flexible work time.
    Jeri recently posted…#AuthorInterview: Melissa ReyesMy Profile

  12. Hi Arleen,
    Before I retired from the police department, they introduced flex-time in some positions as well as job sharing, which works out very well for one filling in for another during maternity leave. Some companies have people work from home through a VPN and can assign work and monitor their logins and productivity.

    I think in general, the more flexible we are as individuals, the easier it is for us to achieve balance in our lives.

    Kind Regards,
    Bill
    William Butler recently posted…13 Essential Vitamins For Personal SuccessMy Profile

  13. I love the idea of flextime and I definitely think companies need to be willing to try to help their employees achieve a balance between work and home. It seems that upcoming generations place more value on balance so corporations have to be able to adapt in order to keep these employees. Flextime is a great way to do that.
    Meredith Wouters recently posted…Home Decor Styles DecodedMy Profile

  14. We had flex time and it was taken away to save money. But with all the changing shifts in our jobs I still think it almost costs our employer money because people get so burnt out and just plain tired that sick time has gone way up.

  15. In South Africa, traffic problems have led to many companies embracing flexi hours with people choosing times that work for them and this helps traffic flow and also helps one to work with the flow of traffic in their area. I am all for flexi hours because there is no point in asking of someone what they do grudgingly, when you can get their best just by giving them a bit of slack.

  16. I agree that flexible hours are a boon to working mothers and others who are independent and chafe at having to show “face time” to prove they are working. Give people some freedom and they will respond with dedication. Maybe the work will get done in the evening, if someone has a child to pick up at school, or has a doctor’s appointment. The important thing is trust — trusting the employee to meet his work goals and trusting the company to provide the same rewards for a job well done as those who come to work every day.
    Jeannette Paladino recently posted…Problem Solving With the “Five Whys”My Profile

    • Jeannette- I couldn’t agree with you more that it does boil down to trust. As an employee you do wander if the employee is putting in the hours they say they are and not picking up kids from school or running errands because they have the free time and not putting the effort back into work. If you don’t trust your employee then they should not be working for you in the first place.
      Arleen recently posted…Successful Work Life Balance With Flexible Working HoursMy Profile

  17. Hi Arleen,

    Flexible hours are definitely a bonus. All my working life was in the Middle East from where I came and there was no flexible schedule there for employees. Either full time employee or unemployed.

    In today’s society we feel totally overwhelmed by the demands made on us especially women and mothers and those who care for an elderly parent. We faced that problem when my mother-in-law was really very sick and needed someone to attend to her but unfortunately because of the non-flexiblity in the working hours, it was very hard and we had to take her to a Senior’s home where she will be taken care of.

    Everything is demanding of our time, from all directions of our life. And flexible hours will definitely help in some shape or form to balance life and work.

    Thanks Arleen for presenting this topic to the forefront, as it is a commonly talked about topic and as you said people have to ask or they will not find out if it will be granted to them or no, at least in countries where it is allowed and practiced.

    Have a great rest of the week.

    Be Blessed,

    Neamat
    Neamat Tawadrous recently posted…6 Strategies To Establish Your Leadership CredibilityMy Profile

    • Neamat- There are many jobs here in the US either you work normal hours or you or unemployed. I never thought about the elder parents and we will all be there one day. It must have weighed hard on you to put your mother-in-law in a senior home, but what could you do. I several people that work for in different states and the hours are flexible and it has been working. I think this might be the wave of the future. Have a good weekend as well.
      Arleen recently posted…Successful Work Life Balance With Flexible Working HoursMy Profile

  18. Hi Arleen

    I smile as for much of my life work life balance did not exist. My husband and I built a couple of businesses together while bringing up family and sadly we worked too much.

    I used to say to people that “balance was BS”. Sad but true!

    I like your illustration of a rested field and bountiful crop. That is how it works and it does apply to us.

    Onto flexible hours. As an employer for much of my life we were in an industry that was very much office hours. We were in the Financial Services sector and we had the flexibility to have after hours appointments available to clients. This meant we could offer the same to our staff. We made it as flexible as we could and yes people really appreciate it.

    Being a mother I have always allowed some flexibility for people to manage their kids needs. It works.

    Thanks Arleen.

    Sue
    Sue Price recently posted…Bouncing Back from Hard TimesMy Profile

  19. Hi Arleen,

    I do believe that working flexible hours would produce better quality! I am a strong believer of taking breaks to re-focus when working my own business.

    I do find that taking time out for myself and being un-pluged does me a world of good with productivity. The more work I have, the more focused I become only if taking time out.

    Flex time for employees would surely work because they will be refreshed and can focus when they get to the job at hand. Also they would be grateful for the opportunity. This does make a better employee!

    -Donna
    donna merrill recently posted…4 Essential Steps Of Affiliate BloggingMy Profile

    • Hi Donna- You have that advantage to be able take all the breaks you want. I remember my husband complaining that people at work would be taking more and longer breaks because they smoked. That is has gotten better. I think flex times works for all involved as long as you trust your employee. Many employers are able to monitor production even if they are not in the office.
      Arleen recently posted…Successful Work Life Balance With Flexible Working HoursMy Profile

  20. I agree that flex time allows employees to be more productive, and it cuts down on sick days as well. I have called in sick on more occasion than one when if I could have worked from home or even moved my shift a couple hours later I would have got the work done.
    Lisa recently posted…Return to the Forbidden Planet!My Profile

  21. Hi Arleen,

    I remember when they were introduced back when I was working with my last company. I definitely jumped on that and wanted to have different hours but my boss wouldn’t let me. I was one of the few that had to stick with the 8 to 5 time. Yep, I was the bosses assistant and he wanted me there during the entire work day to handle whatever issues arose. That’s what I get so being so darn efficient and reliable.

    I was just talking to my sister-in-law last night about why the schools here don’t have better schedules like going year round but have an entire month off with several on in between. The kids would be much more productive I think but she said that in one school she worked years ago they actually did that for three years. Unfortunately though if all the schools in the city can’t be on the same schedule then some families always had a kid in school and they were never able to take vacations. I guess there is always a downside to things.

    ~Adrienne
    Adrienne recently posted…My Favorite New Addition On BufferMy Profile

  22. Hi Arleen,

    Great Post. I love flexible schedules. I believe I give more output on being flexible with working hours.

    Don’t you think flexi-hours concept is more likely to suit Authors, Bloggers and Writers who need a certain mood and feeling to start writing?

    I mean an entrepreneur who needs to do a lot of management, emailing, sales reports, accounts and marketing, has to see time table a bit everyday…

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