It’s 9.30 a.m. You walk into a huge yet half-empty open plan office.
‘Morning, everyone’, you utter as you walk towards the door with your name on it at the back of the room. You get a verbal response from the five employees that are in the office. But you’re not worried. The rest usually come in around 10. Except Eric. He arrives at about 12.30. Weird, but it’s OK - he gets the job done. Oh, right, and Rita is working from home this week.
Sixty years ago, a scene like this would probably be considered a prelude to a company’s demise. Today, however, flexible working schedule is commonplace. It’s indicative of progress and it celebrates individualism and work-life balance.
This flexibility comes in many shapes and forms. Customer-centered roles are a bit constrained (people going to a store/bank/etc. and finding closed doors is just bad business), but for office workers the possibilities are nearly endless.
As opposed to the traditional model of working hours - where employees have to be in the office at 9 and they can leave at 5 - we now have two new working schemes that are rapidly attracting more and more adopters.
The first one is working from home. Otherwise known as remote work or telecommuting. With the developments in technology and communication, this form of employment has become incredibly appealing and easy to realize.
The second one, and the one that we’re going to talk about in this text, is flexible working hours or flextime. Basically, your employees are allowed to come to the office whenever they want, as long as they spend 8 hours working or finish the required tasks.
Now let’s see why this flexible working scheme is starting to push the traditional 9-to-5 template into oblivion, what potential issues could arise and how a time tracking app can help you deal with all of it.
What Do Flexible Working Hours Bring to the Table?
Three very important things - work-life balance for employees, perceived company values and employee retention.
So, first of all, this kind of schedule offers employees an opportunity to tailor their jobs to their own needs. If they like sleeping, there’s no point in coming to work at 9 when you’re not going to function properly until 11. Alternatively, if they want to finish their work at 4 so that they can go to the gym, have lunch with their family or sit around and watch Netflix, by all means!
This improves employees’ job satisfaction, motivation and productivity at work. And it shows you care about their wellbeing. Which brings us to company image. If you have a reputation of an employer who cares about their employees’ life-work balance, more people are going to want to work for you and more people will want to work with you too. And flexible working hours go a long way in reinforcing this value.
And lastly, as a consequence of all this, there’s the increased employee retention. Employee turnover is an expensive phenomenon, so having workers who want to stay is going to make your life easier. And considering the fact that flexibility is a top priority for 92% of millennials, it seems like you don’t have that much of a choice anyway.
One Tiny Problem and One Easy Solution
Now, there’s one obvious issue with flextime - if everyone comes at different times, how can you make sure that they’re all working as much as you’re paying them to? Are your employees using flexible working hours as a perfect cover-up for stealing time or is work actually getting done?
Getting to the bottom of this would require coming in when the first employee does and leaving with the last one. Which comes down to a 13-hour shift.
Or, you know, you could implement a time tracking application like Insightful and let the software do all the dirty work. All you have to do is take a quick look at the reports every once in a while to make sure that everything is as it should be.
Why Time Tracker is a Perfect Sidekick
There are a number of features that a time recording app can offer, but three of them in particular will help you make sure that flexible schedule is working for everybody.
If your employment policy requires workers to be in the office for 8 hours every day or 40 hours a week, then you need an accurate way to track their attendance. Although there are many different attendance tracking solutions, time tracking app for employees is probably the most reliable and low-maintenance option out there. It logs every clock-in and clock-out and calculates office time while also taking productivity into consideration.
You could also use your time tracking app for work delegation. You can break up projects into tasks and allocate each task to an appropriate employee. Task time tracking software gives you great overview of who’s doing what. This helps with collaboration even if employees are not in the office at the same time.
And finally, to answer the question of whether or not employees are actually doing their jobs, you can keep track of tasks and projects that they’re working on and see how much time they spend on these. As an added bonus, employee time logging software keeps a record of apps and websites that employees are using so you’ll be able to know whether your workers are going straight to YouTube as soon as you leave the office.
Times have changed and so have our working habits and expectations. As an employer, you need to answer the rising demand for flexibility in the job market. Using employee time tracking tools can help you in this transition and beyond. Now that millennials are becoming bosses, the death of a 9-to-5 job has never been closer. As an alternative, flexible working hours are here to stay and you better be prepared.