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Trending Topic: Flexible Work Schedules

Trending Topic: Flexible Work Schedules

Managers may need additional coaching and guidance on how to supervise employees who aren’t working on-site…

Thinking of offering flexible schedules to your employees? Flexible schedules are an attractive benefit for many employees. Parents of small children are especially appreciative of the opportunity to adjust their work hours to accommodate a spouse’s work schedule, medical appointments or day care challenges. For an employer, it’s a benefit that doesn’t cost anything extra to offer. Or does it?

Before simply announcing that flexible schedules are OK at your place of employment, it’s important to take three steps to ensure that your new flexible schedule policy rolls out smoothly and is implemented fairly for all. Take a few moments now to understand these three key best practices when creating a flexible schedule policy.

Define the rules

Before launching a flexible schedule policy, make sure that you create written guidelines. Will you allow telecommuting? If so, is an employee required to be in the office for a set number of days or hours? Or will your approach to flexible schedules allow someone to work four 10-hour days instead of five 8-hour days? Work with your human resources department to set flexible schedule policies, and be sure to put them in writing.

Schedule a test run

Instead of rolling out your new flexible schedule policy as a finished product, schedule a trial period to make sure flexible scheduling works for both your business and all your employees. During the trial run, assess whether you need to upgrade your time management system as well as IT infrastructure in order to support telecommuting. Make sure your employees working from home can access everything they need via the Internet. Check to make sure that your office is fully covered if you need people physically at your company location during set hours. You may uncover problems with the new policy that you couldn’t anticipate ahead of time.

Train your team

All employees need training on the new policy. Managers may need additional coaching and guidance on how to supervise employees who aren’t working on-site. For example, managers may need to find a new yardstick to measure attendance for employees who now work virtually or work flexible hours each week or month. Talk to your team to understand any concerns, questions or ideas they may have about the new flexible schedule policies.

Flexible Schedules Benefit Many

The work world has come a long way from the days of whistles announcing the start of a shift and an old-fashioned time clock with punch cards. Today’s workers are used to a more flexible attitude toward working hours and attendance. As long as you clearly spell out your expectations, create written policies, and train and manage your team on them, you can implement flexible schedules as an added benefit for your staff. It’s a benefit that is much appreciated, with few drawbacks or costs to employers.

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