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Tip of the Week: Increasing Your Flexibility

December 15, 2022, The Association

This week’s tip offers a re-thinking of what it means to work flextime. Are you taking WFH to the next level?

The new workplace flexibility, shared Swati Patel in her session on The Future of Compensation during the Fall Conference, “is not about where an employee works, but when they work.”

A person’s chronotype, or natural inclination to sleep at a certain time, will impact their prime hours for work productivity. Think early bird and night owl. With the standard 9-to-5, early birds may be missing their peak hours, while night owls may be ending their work day when they’re most productive.

Many companies now are exploring the possibility of offering employees increased flexibility by allowing them to work outside official work hours. While some jobs are on-site only, it’s important for leadership and HR to consider where they stand on this practice—and determine if it could be the key to bringing about greater well-being for employees and better productivity organizationally.

In an article in The Conversation, University of Sydney Professor Stefan Volk shares four suggestions for managing chronotype diversity:

Determine fixed on-site working hours when hybrid workers are expected to be available for collaborative work and in-person meetings.

Determine fixed working hours for flexible-location workers, when remote workers are expected to be available for online meetings and collaborative work. As an example, that might be 11am to 3pm. A person would make up allotted hours outside of these times, depending on their preferences, but these fixed hours set expectations around availability and aide in scheduling meetings and events.

Determine flexible working hours. Employees choose when to work outside of the fixed working hours.

Determine lockout hours. To prevent potentially self-harming behavior, employers may wish to set limits when workers are strongly discouraged from working unless absolutely necessary.

Whether you explore this practice at your organization or not, “it is important,” says Patel, “to have policies on where or when to work.” While some positions cannot work remotely, you’ll want to consider three categories of workers when determining policy: Fully In-Person, Hybrid, and Fully Remote.

Is time flexibility an option you are offering—or thinking about offering—your hybrid workers? Have you created an organizational policy?

More Tips

Tip of the Week: What’s Your Type?
Tip of the Week: Hold the Pickles, Hold the Lettuce
Article: “Morning or evening type? Choice of hours is the next big thing in workplace flexibility”
Article: “Tips on How to Accommodate ‘Night Owl’ Employees”

Top photo: Sena/Pexels

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