Flexible hours, is it still a myth or does it really exist where only those of exceptional quality get to experience?
Sarcasm aside, flexible working hours are meant to be beneficial to both the employee and the employer and in most cases are. For some industries flexible working hours are more easily enforced than others, such as IT. I doubt flexi hours would work well in the medical industry though many would argue that with the state of the NHS flexi hours are already unofficially in place.
Realistically is there still such a thing as working 9-5 and is this the only time frame an employee can be considered productive? Many employees want a healthy work life balance which flexible hours offer but only if the employer allows it. Working parents, those with elderly parents or perhaps those who just know that starting earlier/later and working earlier/later enables them to be more productive.
Applying for flexible hours can be straight forward depending on your employer, bear in mind your employer does have the right to refuse your flexible hours application if they have justifiable reasons. If in doubt have a look at the ACAS website.
What would flexible hours involve? The obvious being working non-traditional hours, but does it apply to the individual having to physically be in the office during the agreed hours or can they log in from home? If the employee did want to work from home, telecommuting in itself has its own advantage and disadvantages. Marissa Mayer did away with telecommuting as she felt it was negatively affecting the business and enforced that all employees be present in the office, in her mind this approach promoted the idea of being a team which had become disjointed. There is some truth in this as you can discuss things with colleagues whilst sitting next to each other, in the kitchen making a cup of tea, whereas in your own kitchen it’s a case of me myself and I.
Flexi hours is the ‘in thing’ for the current and future of employment but for how long? As with any trend there comes a point where it is ‘over –done’ and flaws are highlighted resulting in a u-turn. How to prevent this from happening with the introduction of flexi hours, if it has not already happened? Each company will need to assess if allowing flexible hours is conducive to the company. This may sound selfish but if there is no company then there will be no job. A company cannot offer flexible hours if it negatively affects the day to day running of the business.
I personally believe that flexible hours can and does work. Companies are able to retain top employees and tap in to other employment groups such as working mums; just because a woman had a child doesn’t mean her brains cells got fried. Both parties need to work together and be respectful of each other to make the situation work.