Flex Time / Flex Week

My company, a 55-person Architectural / Interior Design / Land Planning firm in the metropolitan Atlanta, GA area, has for some time had a daily flex time benefit, where all staff members have the opportunity to choose a workday starting from 7:00 AM to 9:30 PM, with a corresponding ability to leave earlier / later, based on a workday that is defined as 8 hours plus one hour for lunch.  In a recent meeting of our Board, the potential was discussed regarding going to a "flex week" where staff members could work four two-hour longer workdays per week, in lieu of five of the current five workdays.  The reasons for doing this are many, such as a recruiting edge on our competition, to accommodate staff who want to spend more time with their families, to offset the ever-increasing commuting time, and to be eco-friendly by fewer cars on the road or miles racked up.  Up for grabs is whether this should be a universal benefit for all staff members, or to limit it to senior staff or those that have been with the company for a specified period of time.

Any success or horror stories to be shared would be greatly appreciated, as well as any HR / governmental pitfalls.


  • 9 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • My experience with this type of arrangement is a success story with a cautionary note. We have many employees who have handled the flex week with finesse, but they showed some very clear personality traits: previously demonstrated ability to consistently meet deadlines and work unsupervised, hyper conscientious, responsible, and productive. If you want to offer this to newcomers, I would do it on a trial basis, giving them 60-90 days trial to see if they can handle it. If not, make the flex week revocable, at the employer's discretion.
  • That's a great idea from NYGiants--the situation is only a win-win if the extra two hours these employees are working 4 days per week is as productive as teh 8 that they would have worked on the 5th day! 

    By the time 60-90 days has passed, if you are monitoring the situation closely, you should have a good grasp on whether productivity has been negatively impacted. Also, the trial period gives someone unaccustomed to working 10 hour days to get themselves used to the longer days--atlhough it looks like a great idea on paper, some people might hit a mental wall come the 9th or 10th hour...they will either adjust to the long days or conclude that such a schedule really doesn't work for them (so hopefully you wouldn't have to).  I'd make it clear to them that if THEY decide it's not working out as they had hoped, they can end the arrangement before or after the trial period as well.

  • We have gone to a flex schedule for our exempt employees and are experiencing some bumps but the employees love it.  We work one 44 and one week 36 hours and take every other Friday off.
  • Limiting it to senior staff could cause resentment when the other employees see the supervisors and managers leaving early.

    Why not give everyone the benefit.  To keep things running, decide how departments must be minimally staffed during those few hours and then have a rotating list posted on a calendar of those who must be "on duty" that week.  Allow workers to "trade" their duty weeks as needed.  This worked for us.

  • Our Company is on a flex schedule.  What we have found is that the department managers are the ones that have to be on top of the schedules.  We have somewhat of a 2 part benefit.  We work 9 hour days with a 1/2 hour lunch Monday through Thursday and then 4 hours every Friday.   "Core Hours" where everyone must be in the office to make sure we are taking care of our customers (9am to 3pm) Monday through Thursday are easy to track.  Its the ones who come in at 5:30 or 6am that are hard to keep track of, we have found that the department managers are the best ones to handle the schedule and the monitoring of production and they are the closest to the situation.  We give them tools and hold them accountable.  We also have a few who work 4 10 hour days.  There are less of them as there are only certain departments that have the workflow to accomadate that kind of schedule.  The key is to make the other employees feel comfortable knowing we are looking to give them options while still keeping our company running at top notch.

  • For flex time, we offer it after an employee is off their initial probationary window. If they have shown success in the probationary period, they are allowed to start working flext time. Any employee that placed on a written warning is not allowed to work flexible hours until they have worked through their written warning and are back on the right track.
  • My company is an engineering firm.  We have true flex time, in that we are all give keys to the build and can come and go as we please as long as our 40 hours are made for the week and all our work is being done.  At any given time, there is at least one employee in the build.  This benefit is for any staff except our receptionists who must cover the phones.  Do to having true flex time, we have also done away with the 10 paid holidays, we've rolled those into our PTO as an extra 10 days due to the fact that some people would be at work any way.

    We find the employees thrive with this set up, our turn over is only 4%.

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