What is Flextime
Flextime is a work policy that allows employees to choose the times in which they work during the day. Flextime may mandate that employees be in the office during certain hours to allow for meetings and collaboration. However, flexibility is allowed for employees to schedule the remainder of their work day depending on their preferences. Flextime is also known as "flex-time" or "flexitime" (British English).
Breaking Down Flextime
Ordinarily, flextime still requires that employees maintain a certain number of total hours worked (for example 40 hours per week). However, even more progressive work systems may disregard work hours as a measure of productivity, and simply require that all of the employee's work be accomplished. Flextime works best when work is either highly individual in nature or information technology allows opportunities for asynchronous collaboration. Flextime is used with exempt employees, meaning salaried workers who are exempt from minimum wage, overtime rules, and other rights and protections afforded to non-exempt workers.
Flextime in Practice
Flextime's flexible hours schedule gives workers the right to start and end their workday when they want or under a general, company-specified window. For example, some companies may require all flextime employees to be present between certain hours known as the core period, such as from 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. They may also require that all work be conducted and completed during the hours between 5 a.m. and 8 p.m., known as bandwidth time. The shoulder hours outside of 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. are the flextime hours. This is in contrast to the traditional workday of roughly 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Workers have consistently rated workplace flexibility more important than compensation and advancement. Employers are often willing to reward workers with flextime because it is cheap to implement. Workers are also more likely to remain at a job that offers greater flexibility because it allows for a better work/life balance. Women tend to appreciate the flextime benefit more than men, but both report higher levels of happiness working under such a policy. Flextime may also play a role in reducing healthcare costs, reducing cases of stress and burnout.
Similar to flextime, "flexplace" gives workers the right to determine where they will do their work. Like with flextime, flexplace give workers greater say in how they schedule their workday and workplace. Workers with children, disabilities, unique or demanding childcare or eldercare issues, long commutes or other time- and place-related challenges may benefit the most from flextime and flexplace.