Flexitime Home Working
The working day can look a lot different for employees working from home, especially during the current lockdown period. No longer is there a daily commute to worry about, other than maybe a traffic jam in the hallway, or finding a parking space on the dining table for your laptop in-between the children’s colouring sheets. Neither is there a specified time for heading out for lunch. This means actual working times are likely to look a lot different to a ‘normal’ office day, and in many cases it is probably quite hard to keep to a ‘typical’ working day.
An earlier start maybe, or extra breaks during the day to deal with the inevitabilities with working from home followed up with evening work to then catch up. To aid with this – flexible working, or flexitime, may be worth introducing for your employees. Assigning them a set of core hours when they need to be ‘present’ during the day but then opening up the times when they complete the rest of their expected day.
For instance when in the office, a typical 7.5 hour day may look like this
Working at home may make this trickier. Normally your employee may leave the house at 07:30 to get to work on time. Being at home this now means they may be ready to start work at 07:30, However adapting to home working may mean they have childcare to take into account during the day, so are now essentially unavailable for an hour at 08:30
By introducing Flexitime you can open up the day to your employees, ensuring the work required is still achieved but working around some of the issues working from home can bring.
How does Flexitime work?
Flexitime working rules are made up of a number of parameters which together ensure expected working time is achieved within much more flexible, rather than fixed, arrangements
Flexitime Compulsory CoreTime Hours
With flexitime you would typically assign a portion of the day where the employee MUST be present in work mode. This is known as CORETIME and are the hours where you are at your busiest or know that the majority of tasks/meetings take place.
So let’s say this CORE TIME falls between 0930 and 1500 factoring in a 1-hour lunch this only accounts for 4.5 hours. Leaving 3 hours of the employees contracted hours left to complete. The times these are worked can then be left open to the employee.
Flexitime Planned Hours
These are the rules that form the employees standard working day to achieve expected working time. For instance, 0830 to 1700 with a 1-hour lunch gives 7.5 expected hours
An employee contract would usually stipulate standard working times to give the employee a basis to work from in their flexitime system
Flexitime Recognised Hours
These rules form the period of the day where the employee can start and finish with their hours adding to their worked time. They are typically used to specify the earliest start and latest finish. A common rule would be 0600 to 21:00
Flexitime Lunch Hours
In flexitime situations, lunchtimes are usually set within a much more open timeframe rather than a set in stone time.
A typical example might be
1200 – 1400 Lunch Zone
Minimum break – 00:30
Maximum break – 02:00
The above stipulates employees may take breaks between 12 and 2 pm for a minimum of 30 minutes and a maximum of 2 hours. Any breaches of these are to be flagged accordingly
In flexitime, employees are not really recorded for lateness or early finishing. The exception is if the employee fails to achieve being present within their core time. That is based on the start and finish times they are not at work within the core hours.
The Benefits of Flexitime
This is where flexibility comes in. The employee has designated daily hours to work but is not necessarily expected to achieve them each day. Some days they may be up on hours worked and some days for whatever reason they are down. This is their Balance. The aim is that the employee is up and around their total expected hours (contract) for each pay period. Good Flexitime systems will let you set targets and limits for these balances as well as report where employees currently are in their working time.
Flexitime periods are usually over a month or 4 weekly periods.
Period limits are usually set on balances to prevent employees from building up too much of a positive balance and leaving them with a lot of flexitime they are able to take off.
Carry forward limits are usually specified per period where any excess balance is trimmed back. This is to ensure employees are roughly working to their scheduled expected times and keeping their balances in reasonable amounts.
A typical carry forward maybe 15 hours or 2 flex days.
With flexitime you are giving your employees more control over when they get their work done and allowing them more freedom with home life demands.
For yourself, as a business, there are numerous advantages
- Engaged Workforce – now active in managing their working times
- Reduction in Overtime costs
- More Productive
- Reduced Absenteeism as Employees use Flexitime to work around time off for appointments etc
- As a working benefit, it helps improve staff retention
Flexitime Working Example
An employee working at home one day may only be able to achieve their core hours but on the next is able to work a full day plus some extra at the start and end of the day. This will bring their deficit from the previous day back up.
Example – 37.5-hour working week (7.5 per day) (1-hour break auto deducted)
In the example it is easy to see how flexitime works for both the employee and the employer. Core hours have been covered, with the employer being notified if they aren’t and the employee has been able to work around the challenges and differences in working from home. At the end of the week this employee has a positive of 0.5 hours. Rules can be specified with what happens to this 0.5.
- Simply carried forward into a new period (most common),
- is it to be earmarked for overtime,
- or should it be transferred to a new counter such as Time Off In Lieu for the employee to use at a later date.
With the flexibility comes the need to manage the rules and the hours worked. A good flexitime system will do all the above and more for you.
You should look at systems that completely manage your flexitime rules and give yourself and your employees complete visibility
Features you should look for
- Full Flexitime rule management as per the above
- Ability to adapt rules for different employees such as part-time
- Absence and Holiday Management
- Ability for employees to record their working times, whether in the office or remotely
- The ability for employees to view, and request changes to their data – Employee Self Service
If you have some questions about whether Flexitime would work for your business or would like a chat about our solutions please get in touch and we would be happy to help
We have both hosted and cloud solutions available, and with our professional implementation we can have you up and running in a very short space of time. Get in touch and we can give you a quick demo to show how our flexitime system can work for you