A flexible working hours policy can benefit many employees, including working mothers and caregivers, and can help companies potentially attract a new segment of candidates at a time when hiring and retaining employees suffer. The right tools could help employers manage flexible work schedules for their workers.
Employers should keep in mind that flexible working hours policies can also have a negative impact on employees. Some workers may be reluctant to change their standard 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. schedule because they believe employers will favor employees working traditional hours. Additionally, employees may end up working more hours if they follow a flexible work policy.
In many cases, however, a flexible working hours policy can help employees improve their work-life balance. Here are some of the tools business owners should consider implementing to help manage a flexible working hours program.
1. HR system
Employees on flexible hours will need to be able to access HR information remotely at any time. An HR system provides employees with their personal and work data, and employees can use it to update their information, sign new policies and documents, and view public information like an org chart.
Some HR systems also allow users to post links to policies and forms from groups such as HR, Finance, and IT.
2. Scheduling software
In some cases, employees who follow a flexible schedule must always work specific fixed hours or submit their schedule on a weekly or monthly basis. Additionally, a manager may need to ensure adequate hedging each day. Scheduling software helps alert employees to when they need to work and facilitates scheduling discussions between employees and their managers.
However, scheduling software may not add value if employees can work anytime and already record actual hours worked on a timesheet.
3. Time tracking software
Time tracking software is essential for a flexible working hours program to ensure payroll accuracy. By incorporating an approval process, managers can ensure that only hours worked are approved and paid.
4. Collaborative tools
If workers use collaboration tools to communicate, an employee working flexible hours may find it easier to catch up on a conversation later. Business leaders can encourage employees to communicate through widely accessible collaboration tool channels so that an employee logging in at 2 p.m. knows that a particular issue has been resolved by colleagues at 10 a.m.
5. Video conferencing applications
Video conferencing apps allow meetings to be recorded so that absent employees can watch them later. This check-in option could benefit employees working flexible hours, as schedules may not always line up for gatherings like a company-wide meeting.
6. Calendar software
Calendaring software is common today, but it potentially becomes even more valuable when employees work flexible hours, as scheduling meetings can become more difficult. Business owners should consider integrating scheduling software with company calendaring software or requiring employees to enter their availability into calendaring software.
7. Training requests
A learning management system that allows employees to take courses on their schedule can benefit employees who don’t work regular business hours. To support these employees, HR staff should emphasize e-learning courses rather than instructor-led training (ILT), as employees may not be able to attend training. live.
If ILT training is essential, HR personnel should record the training so that employees who work flexible hours can watch it later.
8. Building Access Control Application
Employees working flexible hours may need access to onsite locations outside of normal business hours. Business owners should therefore consider investing in an app that controls access to office spaces and tracks who enters and exits the premises. The company can also use the app for contact tracing if needed.