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?
I believe that employees will be more productive and efficient when they are allowed to work on their own hours. However, it is also important that all employees would allot specific work hours when they can work altogether as a team. My opinion, i think, will work best for freelancers and virtual workers like myself.
It is totally depends on your business nature and business standard,...,mostly software or web developer work at a distance with different timing, at the same time big group who has lot of work lot of men power so they need production other than timing issue, now you find yourself where are you lie?
YES. Provided you are covered for customer support/inquiries or other interaction. Allowing people to make their own hours will get you more productivity and happier employees.
It would depend on the Industry. I know folks that currently do this they are more productive.
Providing that internal clients or organization setup allow this kind of flexibility, answer is yes. Still there should be some common platform where all team members are available to each other. Traditionally, I can think of 'core hours' at least once per week. A private forum or other virtual environment can make it too, especially if the organization is geographically fragmented.
I think the world is moving gradually to this working model. I know of some top corporations in Nigeria already doing this, but not for all job functions because it is important that the products and services of companies are readily available for the customer to access. I think also that it would depend on the industry, and there must be in place a system were are skills required for the company to be successful are always in place, at least during the recognized working hours (you can't have members of your Marketing team for instance all choosing to work from 12noon to 9 pm because of the freedom to create their own hours), and there has to be a great level of discipline by the employee, and monitoring by management to ensure that the hours promised are put to full use.
I agree. Employees today want more freedom and flexibility to work at their own pace. However, it truly depends on the type of business.
For those employees that prove that they can meet the goals and objectives with excellent output for the desired outcomes, it should not matter from where they work or when they fit the work in.
That is a great question. The reason why some organizations fail is because of "standards." If the nature of your business is dependent on a 9-5 type culture, like an elementary school, of course your team would not be able to set their own hours. However, if your business does not require that kind of structure to operate effectively, then there is no reason why employees can't set their own hours -- As Long As They Do The Work. If you are the leader, then it should be your call as to whether you want to give employees the flexibility to set their own hours. I think it is a good idea to capitalize on people's peak performance times whenever possible.
In my own experience it depends on the type of business it is and if it is a virtual one or an in-person job. With today's technology it is possible to set hours if you are working remotely, however, there are times when set hours are necessary.
The world of work is changing more people are working flexible hours and remote workers are on the increase, It depends on the industry. I am in the UK, here and in the EU Companies are working towards the Equality Legislation we have to comply with certain issues such as flexible working. Our new millenniums ( generation X are directing us to different working environments and attitudes towards working. Gone are the 9-5 business hours. In this global economy it has to be how we direct our businesses to support this new era, and include the diverse workforces we will have.
This is a question I have struggled with my entire career. It really depends on the maturity level of the employees as a group. Remember; What you do for one you must do for all.
Ask yourself if you are delivering the best value for the client. The best creativity seldom happens on schedule, but you can get better at "manufacturing" ideas with some training.
In our projects, we have times when each designer needs to go off on their own and create. I allow a greater amount of freedom during those times. This is where employees will get personal satisfaction from their contribution to the project.
When we move to the execution phase of a project, I prefer an "all hands on deck" approach, as I see team work, streamlined communication and mutual respect develop among employees as they strive for a common goal or deadline. Once we reach that goal, we can all celebrate as a group.
I strive to provide a level of consistency by sticking to regular work hours. As it provides people a bit of normalcy in an otherwise chaotic environment. I would not dock pay for being a half hour late now and then. But if lack of attention is habitual or disruptive, that employee really does not want to be with our group anyway, so I give them what they want.
I would suggest that employees want autonomy. It is autonomy that drives passion and discretionary effort. However, it also depends on the business you are in (i.e you can't do this in retail or in the medical professions) and the life style of the employees. If you have single parents or if you have someone taking classes or similar situations you might want to make them happy and show empathy with flexible hours.
I would say the measure of success would be if the work is being completed, with the quality you want, within the timeframe you expect, why would you care. You might find by having the traditional 9-5 you are not getting those things. But if you do let them set their own hours you have to be explicate about the consequences for not doing things on time and not having the quality you define. Without consequences you will not get the results you want.
You might want to have them all in the office at the same time, for a few hours, for face time and get to know you and one another. That would be helpful.
Simple treat them like adults and they might act like adults!
It's not a matter of "employees being allowed". Employees need to take the initiative to talk to their managers about what they need to be most productive. Most companies are global and have clients 24-7. Depending upon what industry and what role/responsibilities your have - there are often several opportunities to match your shift to the way you work best. But it's not the company or your manager to specifically provide this for you. It's really not the company or your manager's responsibility to provide a perfect work environment for you.
Their goal is to meet the company's goals and business commitments. So, it really depends upon the company goals, the department productivity goals, and what works best for achieving those business commitments. So - I recommend that you understand the company/department/manager's business commitments first. Then start the conversation with your manager - but don't come empty handed. Come into the meeting with alternative shifts that both accomplishes their business commitments AND your specific shift needs. And it may not have to be an "all or nothing" type arrangement. Talking to your manager, you may find that they need 9-5 on customer-facing activities on M, W, F and can absorb more flexible hours on Tuesday and Thursday. It may be that your organization is Global - meaning that your department oversees multiple time zones. So, talk to your manager about other customer timezones that you can work. You might find that it's important for your department to be 9-5, but they also need coverage on weekends. Talk to your manager about switching from a M-F, first shift - to other shifts. Be flexible and take the initiative to design a Win/Win solution.
But - realize that companies are in the business to make money. Keeping you happy isn't really their primary responsibility. Therefore, you need to take the lead to define a solution that matches both their needs and yours.
There are some great replies to your question. Please let us know what you decide.
All the best,
Great question to consider and good points made in response. To come up with the optimal answer, ask yourself and your employees 'what can we do to maximize our value in client relations and achieve our business goals?' Do flex hours support your "WHY?" As in why you are in business and why customers should want to do business with you. It's not about the convenience of employees rather about their commitment to the business and accountability for their activities and results contributing to organizational success. That said, be diligent in how you assess, hire, develop and support your staff. Ultimately, it is alignment and balance of structure, strategy and culture which will grow your business.
Enjoy the process of successful growth!
Flex hours are best whenever possible since they focus people on getting thing done not just showing up. Our best developers and sales people prosper by not being ground down by unnecessary showing up requirements. Average and below performers don't usually like flex hours because the mission is clearer that stuff must get done.
Yes, but with some conditions. Not for all types of jobs. This can be extended to Production & Purchasing staff. These department staff will not have time to finish their jobs withing day time working hours. Even they completed they may don't have time to complete their paper work related to their duty.
Some employees doesn't have a capacity to work within noisy environment even if they continue they can not be provided very good productivity. So better to give chances to create own hours. '
I think this depends on the type of work, the relationship of the employee to others in the company, and the employee's character.
Type of work: Some work is conducive to isolation, such as writing and editing (that's what I do). I gain something by working on my own. Other types of work would lose something if employees work on their own. For example, tradeshow planning. If a tradeshow planner works on their own, they might be tempted not to consult with others who are critical to the process. If everyone is working at the same time, collaboration is easy and more likely.
Relationship of employee to others: If an employee's work is woven closely into the work of others, it doesn't make sense to allow them to work on their own. For example, clerical staff should always have immediate access to the staff they support. It doesn't mean some work couldn't be done during solo hours, but even spreadsheet prep, correspondence and other things should be done when access to the project owner is easy and more likely.
Employee character: You have to be careful with this one, because you must treat all employees equally. However, it is a fact that some employees are self-starters and others thrive when they are surrounded by other people working. Some employees are trustworthy and others cannot even trust themselves to make honest decisions when they are alone. How do you make this judgement? Consult HR to make sure you are following the law in your treatment of employees. Allow employees to prove themselves and work up to trusted solo work. If they break the rules or can't get enough work done, have a frank conversation with them about this and use it as proof that it is better for them and your company if they work during regular business hours. The proof will allow you to make decisions for them within the law that don't match what you decide for others.
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.