Should employees be allowed to create their own hours?
Some of my team say they work best late at night, while others are most productive in the morning. Is it reasonable to allow them to make their own hours or do organizations perform best when the whole team is together for the most part during the 9-5 standard business hours?
Given the nature of business to day and what is effectively 24 hours a day servicing, I do not see why not. The number of 9-5:30 vacancies are starting to fall as more companies want to provide a 24 hours sevice, that includes traditional 9-5 posts such as Banks, and other Financial Services operations.
I notice that there is an increasing number of adverts which are implying a shift pattern, particularly with this mania and fixation employers have with call-centres. To that end there is no reason why an employee should not be able to create their own hours as those are bound to fit in to the employers business plan in any case.
Employers I am afraid are going to have learn that the knife cuts both ways, and should things in the employment market pick up, then they are going to find a large number of their employees who have had a "gun held to their head" to the point where we have the Hire and Fire mentality adopted from USA, leave them. Thos employees are likely to be the most valuable in terms of experience within the firm and experience gained elsewhere. Not allowing them flexible working hours means that they will leave for another business, in turn taking away all the experience and more to the point cost of training them to your business operational codes.
We have got to get out of this hire & fire mentality and stop treating staff as disposables, in the long run it is expensive but it seems that our short-sighted management and directorships cannot see this. If they need a flexible work force, then they have got to have a flexible approach to the times that their employees work, in partiuclar those who are looking after children and the problem will increase as our population becomes older, to the point where there will be more people over the age of 65 by 2040. The elderly will need care too, and they cannot all be put in to homes- we just have not got the space, afterall we are only an island!
In my experience allowing flexibility for my workers has allowed them to be more productive. Now, there are still limitations for client specific meetings or emergencies where you need to be available during normal business hours but as long as there is nothing pressing it doesn't matter to me or my organization when the work gets done.
Dear David, I have experience from both clients and from my own teams working with this question. I think flexibility is a requirement for current and future generations of employees. So if you want the best talent, you need to work out a model that incorporates flexibility.
I assume that your teams output is not dependent on their location/time of work, but also that if they are a team, you gain momentum within the team, with proximity to each other. However proximity today, especially with a highly IT literate generation, can be obtained even with physical distance and different working hours. But the technology available do not make this happen on it’s own, in my experience. you can even do SCRUM this way, there are several tools available.
For this to work, there still need to be ground rules and the right technology and accessibility available (to both virtual work platform and team members). I suggest you define what constitutes team work with you team, and define remote ways of working that can still fulfill this “credo” and from that write a new guide for remote working and what it means.
In addition that everyone is prepared and understand what they need to deliver and can be held accountable to. Part of this is to be made aware of the extra need for transparency with deliverables when working remotely. My thinking is that if you are not visible to your team as a team member, you are even more dependent on making your contributions visible – In order to keep the trust from your colleagues.
Essentially this discussion comes back to building and retaining trust at the workplace and I think if you frame it like that in an off site etc. you should be able to have an engaging and productive dialogue that hopefully will make your team even more productive.
I know all of the above is easyer said than done, and I have experimented and worked hard on making teams work like that, so above takes a lot more than what I just wrote (I know), but hopefully works as an encouragement to stay with this important question of yours and keep pursuing new ways of working.
Best regards from Berlin,
Largely depends on what your business is. If you're servicing clients and doing development within a team, then a common time-frame for a team is much better.
At our organisation, we've empowered the teams to decide their own routine. We've dedicated teams working for clients and we encourage these teams to find-out best time for them along with client in which they'd like to work. Client should remain happy at the end of the day.
Hmmn, from my personal perceptive, I guess if productivity is a goal, you could give it a try. I'm someone who doesn't have a particular workplace or time. I work as at when the motivation arrives and could go on hours so I often tell my clients that I'll finish the task within so and so hours. It might be at their place or at mine but I always get the job done on time. So, if they say they are more productive during certain hours, please give it a try and measure the performance also so at to be able to ascertain it it's worth it.
A little bit of both, both arguments are valid and giving people flexibility will go a long way towards a more satisfied workforce, when they need to be together, they can be together, when they need time alone they can have time alone - the nature of the task-at-hand will help determine the style of work in each scenario
This is not a yes or no question, it depends on the industry. If you work at a retail store, your hours are in accordance with the store hours. However, if you are in a more professional non customer facing position, you need to be available during some core hours but, out side of that you should be able to work the hours that fit your life style.
If your business is innovation driven , you may like your employees to create their own hours. Works well for small size projects or rapid prototyping environment. This flexibility may not work for high in tranaction environment such as financial services.
To me it would depend on where they are working. If at an assigned office, I would be okay with shifts - 8-4 and 4-Midnight.. If they are working at home, then times and shifts don't apply. Regardless of the product/service, people with like areas should be "working" at similar times to decrease down time or lapses.