Flexitime contracts in a workplace can be beneficial in many ways, giving employees freedom and convenience. However, with the benefits, come the restrictions which lay mostly on bosses or those with higher authority.

Flexitime can be used in a number of ways. The most common is giving employees freedom to choose their start and finish times within a day, as long as a certain amount of hours are worked, per day, per week. These are normally within restrictions as expected; within the company’s operating times or open hours taking deadlines etc. into consideration.

Another way some companies operate flexitime is allowing employees to choose length of working days, as long as they conform to a weekly number of required/contracted working hours. This could mean that a worker could work 4 longer days, instead of 5 shorter days, but still reaching that set number of hours worked. This is great for those wanting or needing a 3-day weekend, for recreational plans, or for childcare on Bank Holidays for example.

If your company operates on weekends, there’s potential to work through them; 10 days of consecutive work, for example, to retrieve 4 consecutive days-off afterward, again complying with contracted hours and targets. This is great for those perhaps short on holiday allowance, but wanting consecutive days off in a block, allowing you to take that 3 night break away which you wouldn’t fit into a normal 2-day weekend.

Flexitime is perfect for parents or those who care for others. It means that they can choose their daily hours, to some extent, to fit around school times and care. A mother may have to rush out of the house, leaving her children in the hands of a child-minder to get them ready and to school, if working on set-contracted hours. Working on flexitime allows her to go to work after spending time with her children and doing the school-run, likely to make her a happy employee, who will also benefit from saving money on additional childcare.

With these benefits of 3-day weekends or freedom for those with dependents, flexitime can bring problems. For example if you choose a short day, but a colleague in the office requires your help or attention later in the day, after your chosen working hours, it can cause frustration, complication and delays.

A solution to this sort of problem is establishing ‘core hours’ within an office or company, where all employees must be present. This may be a 2 hour window between midday and 2pm for example, dedicated to compulsory meetings, or adding restrictions for overall co-operation, for example capping start time at no later than 11am.

Flexitime generally creates a happier, more free working environment, and despite its problems it’s mostly very effective in a workplace like an office when managed properly.

Laura Sewell

An aspiring journalist, Laura is our content writer.  Pop-punk gig-goer and drag queen enthusiast, Laura is working her way into the industry, with an English A -Level and love of writing about anything and everything in tow.
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