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Pros and Cons of Flextime

written by: Jillian Peterson•edited by: Michele McDonough•updated: 6/29/2010

Many employees struggle with balancing work and personal obligations, causing them to feel unbalanced and inevitably dissatisfied with their job. Flextime scheduling has its pros and cons, but offers a creative solution to this problem that often results in less absenteeism and turnover.

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    What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Flextime?

    Flextime is a trend that has been gaining popularity in recent years. Countless studies have been done to judge employee satisfaction on the job, and the overwhelming majority of employees express that the balance between work and home obligations is their biggest concern. It goes without saying that an employee that is granted the time needed to take care of important life events is going to be more loyal than an employee who feels that her boss is unfair.

    Unfortunately, some life events cannot be scheduled outside of the normal work day. Doctor appointments, school events, and other personal obligations that arise are common reasons for missed days. Rather than dealing with last minute call-outs, flextime allows employers to schedule workflow around employee availability. It also allows employees to choose their schedule from available slots in advance, giving them the ability to work around other commitments.

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    The Pros

    The advantages of flextime for the employee are fairly obvious. Working parents find flextime allows for more involvement with their children's schools and the ability to juggle an active family life without sacrificing income or productivity at work. Employees without children still benefit, as they have the ability to break up their work week, allowing for the scheduling of doctor's appointments, college courses, or other types of personal enrichment.

    The employees are not the only ones that benefit from flextime. Employers that have implemented a flextime schedule often find it easier to retain their top performers. The increased satisfaction with the workplace often results in lowered turnover and less employee burn out. Likewise, happy employees make for more productive employees, and who does not want to see their company productivity increase?

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    The Cons

    When there are ups, there are always downs, and flextime is no exception to this rule. Some employers find that the scheduling limitations flextime presents are hard to overcome. If your business requires team meetings or collaborative work sessions, flextime may leave you missing key players of your team. Trying to find a time when everyone you need to attend a meeting is available can be difficult with rotating or constantly changing schedules.

    One of the disadvantages of flextime that must be addressed when planning your options is balancing flexibility without leaving you short staffed. In some business models, it is nearly impossible to predict when your busy times will occur. Flextime can backfire if the few employees scheduled for the day are hit with a mountain of work while the rest of the team is off having fun. Also, determining how the scheduling is prioritized can create conflict in the team. Establishing a fair system for choosing shifts is imperative for flextime to be successful.

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    Summing Up

    Flextime can be a great opportunity for providing your employees with the means to achieve a balanced life, but it does not work for all business types. Flex time can be challenging to manage at first, but once the bumps are smoothed over, most managers and employees agree it is worth the effort.