When we head back to our offices once the pandemic that’s disrupted our business and personal lives is over, many of us will have grown accustomed to working from home—on our own schedule. For most of us, continuing to work from home won’t be an option. But flextime might be.
So what is it, and how does it work?
Flextime is “a system that allows employees to choose their own times for starting and finishing work within a broad range of available hours.” (Merriam-Webster)
It consists of a core period each day when employees must be at work (say, 11 AM to 3 PM), coupled with a broader period during which all work for the day must take place (say, 7 AM to 7 PM).
A German management consultant, Christel Kammerer, gets the credit for coming up with the idea of allowing workers to alter work start and finish times so long as they complete required number of work hours each day or week.
For many employees, that flexibility can drive high levels of satisfaction with our work and workplace, because it affords the opportunity to better juggle work and personal lives—whether that means saving commute time or daycare and babysitter costs.
Companies, too, benefit when their employees are more satisfied and motivated: Productivity improves, for one, and company reputation gets a boost as a “good place to work.”