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How flexible is your business’s flextime?

It’s not a one-size-fits-all solution

Nov 7, 2016

by Alberta Venture Staff

Several finalists for Alberta’s Best Workplaces highlighted their flexible approaches to where and when work gets done, especially when it comes to satisfying younger employees. But flexible work arrangements need to be carefully thought out before being implemented. “Letting all your employees work from home is not going to be the answer,” McMahon says. “The option needs to be assessed based on the organization and the person’s job.”

And flexibility is a two-way street. Employees have to respond responsibly. Careful monitoring to ensure the work is still getting done, especially in the early days of the arrangement, can go a long way to ensuring that both sides in the bargain remain happy.

There is a middle ground, too: most people think of flextime as a formal policy, but it doesn’t have to be. Working parents, in particular, might be well served by an informal solution that can be put into practice on short notice, such as when childcare needs crop up suddenly. The ability to carve out small solutions – an hour or two here or there – can go a long way to encouraging employee engagement.

But the bottom line is that if an employer can take a more flexible approach t, it could be a boon. “Flexibility can go a long way to give [young workers] that autonomy their used to and desire,” McMahon says. “It can be a big reason why an employee might say, ‘I’m going to stay here.’”