How to Develop a Flexible Work Schedule Policy

Your employees are a vital part of your business. Employers can experience several benefits by implementing a flexible work schedule. Allowing employees to develop a schedule outside the normal 9 to 5 doesn’t have to disrupt productivity. As long as the employer has developed a flexible work schedule policy to set expectations and lay down a few ground rules, your business should reap the benefit.

What is a Flexible Work Schedule?

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, a flexible work schedule is a work schedule alternative to the traditional 9 to 5, 40-hour work week. It allows employees to alter their arrival and/or depart times and alter their work hours to create a work-life balance. A flexible work schedule should include “core” hours in which the employee is scheduled to be available to internal and external customers. Core hours should be agreed upon between the employees and employees’ manager.

Gain additional HR tips by reading, ‘Finding Employees: 5 Interview Questions for Millennials & Gen Z.

The Nuts and Bolts of a Flexible Work Schedule Policy

  • Policy purpose: Explain why the company is creating the policy.
  • Scope: Provide a summary of the policy and include who may be affected by the policy.
  • Guidelines for exempt versus non-exempt employment status: List expectations of employees for each employment status. This could include how many core hours are required, when an employee can work outside their core hours, how holidays hours would be handled, and possible scheduling examples. You may also include if employees are eligible for a flexible work schedule if they are on a performance improvement plan.
  • Procedure for submitting a request: Break out the steps in which you would like your employees to submit a flexible work schedule. You may include a form that highlights the hours an employee would like to work on a weekly or bi-weekly schedule.
  • Approvals/signatures by employee and employer

Once your flexible work policy is complete, it’s important to review the policy on an annual basis to make any appropriate changes. It’s also crucial to have a statement within it that your company reserves the right to alter, modify, or make exceptions to this policy as necessary. This verbiage provides a safety net if a situation arises that you weren’t planning for.

Example of a Flexible Work Schedule    

That are many variations as to what a flexible schedule could look like. One person may work their total hours in 4 days to have one day off a week; another employee may start earlier or stay later to have a longer lunch; one employee may work 4 hours one day and 9 hours the next 4 days. Employees may wish to have a flexible schedule to schedule appointments during those times of altered hours to reduce the amount of paid time off (PTO) used for the not “fun” things.

An example of a flexible work schedule that would include a half-day each week could be working Monday through Thursday from 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. with a 1/2 hour lunch, working Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. with the afternoon “flexed” or off.

With so many variations, it’s important to work with each employee and determine their needs to alter their schedule so you can create a schedule that works best for you and the employee.

4 Employer Benefits of a Flexible Work Schedule Policy    

1. Boosts employee morale. Employees that can take charge of their schedule and work when it works best for them will be happy.

2. Reduces tardiness and absenteeism. Employees who can alter their schedule will have the opportunity to make appointments during time off or respond to family obligations, reducing absenteeism. Employees who are not early risers could choose to start their day a little later to allow them to be on time and present or vice versa by starting their day a little later.

3. Reduces employee turnover. Employees that are happy in their role because of the opportunity to have a flexible work schedule that creates a work-life balance will be more reluctant to leave.

4. Enhances company image. A flexible work policy can assist in creating a company culture that is a family-friendly place to work.

Read our HR blog series for additional tips on how to retain top talent, increase employee motivation, and more. Or contact a local Society agent today for more information on insurance coverage options that could best suit your needs.


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