In fact, nearly all of the 1,100 companies polled by the nonprofit Families and Work Institute in a 2008 report provide at least one type of flexible work option. The Families and Work Institute considers flexibility “a way to define how and when work gets done and how careers are organized”. For employees, this may include:
• having traditional flex time (setting daily hours within a range periodically)
• having daily flex time
• being allowed to take time off during the work day to address family matters
• being able to take a few days off to care for a sick child without losing pay, having to use vacation days or make up an excuse for the absence
• being able to work some regular hours at home
• being able to take breaks when one wants to
• having a work shift that is desirable
• having complete or a lot of control over the work schedule
• being able to work part-time (if currently full-time) or full-time (if currently part-time) in one’s current position
• being able to work a compressed work week
• being able to work part-year in one’s current position
It’s no surprise that employees support flexible scheduling, where the payoffs include higher job satisfaction and commitment to their work, coupled with lower stress and job burnout.
"We know from the research that if you have choice or autonomy and you have the
support to make those choices and you're held accountable, those are the
things that most affect how you feel about your employer, as well as your
health and well-being," says Ellen Galinsky, President of the Families and
To promote flex time in your workplace, Ilyse Shapiro, founder of the job search website MyPartTimePRO.com, recommends:
1. Make sure your organization’s culture supports work/life initiatives. “Flexibility” shouldn’t be just a catchphrase but a concept embraced throughout the organization.
2. Effective work/life balance programs should be nondiscriminatory, available to all employees, male or female, with or without children, regardless of income level, job title, exempt/nonexempt status or marital status.
3. Career advancement and training opportunities should be offered to those with flexible schedules as well as to those with traditional schedules.
What type of flexible work options do you extend to your employees? What are the challenges, if any, you’re facing? Post a comment and tell us more.