“The Modern Workplace Report 19/20” brings some startling news about flextime in the United States. It’s a research report by Condeco Software, of London’s Condeco Group Ltd. A comparison of the prevalence of flextime in Singapore, the United Kingdom, France, Germany and Australia, finds the U.S. 10 percent to 17 percent behind the other regions.
The adoption of flextime would be much higher in this country if Silicon Valley and other tech locations were surveyed, according to Lynda Lowe, Condeco’s director of marketing.
The current Condeco Software report indicates that the United States falls behind other regions in utilizing flextime. However, it doesn’t survey high-tech hubs, where flextime is very popular. (Photo: Condeco Software, a division of Condeco Group Ltd.)
Condeco conducted 253 quantitative interviews of senior executives in companies with 100 to more than 1,000 employees. It also conducted in-depth qualitative interviews in the regions, except for Germany. Industries spanned financial services, manufacturing, telecomunications, healthcare, high tech, retail, logistics, energy and utilities.
What is flextime?
Agreed upon by employers and employees, flextime is an arrangement of work hours at least in part outside the traditional 9-5 or 8-4 brick-and-mortar office schedule. For example, a compressed four 10-hour days per week is one form of flextime. Frequently involving remote locations, flextime may allow for working in the employees’ homes and other locations during evenings and weekends.
Reuben Yonatan feels that some in-office time “is a kind of stepping stone for CEOs like me who are initially uncomfortable with remote-only workers.” He is founder and CEO of GetVoIP, a New York City subsidiary of Biz Media Cental LLC. “ It lets us get a taste for and begin to implement policies and best practices around remote work, without having to go ‘all-in.’”
The trend heats up
In 2010, legions of Americans were desperately looking for jobs in the recession’s empty landscape. However, flextime was already being discussed across hiring desks as companies became attuned to the “demands” of applicants to whom they were no longer offering lifetime contracts, according to Daniel Levine. A workplace trends expert and keynote speaker, Levine leads thousands of trend-spotters worldwide. He is director of New York’s trends consultancy The Avant-Guide Institute.
Technology allows people to communicate despite a disperse workplace of employers, employees and co-workers. Lowe points out that “those working outside of core hours … (can) still feel part of that business community and work team.”
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David Jackson, CEO of Fullstack Labs, headquartered in Granite Bay, California, with offices in Virginia and Colombia, comments that “the challenge with flextime policies revolves around teamwork. It’s important that everyone work at the same time for collaboration and teamwork to be optimized. Employers have to strike the right balance between flexibility and teamwork.”
In a number of U.S. businesses, flextime seems as individualized as the businesses themselves. If you’ve worked in a company with flextime, flexible work arrangements in your next one may seem very different.
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If your current job doesn’t include flextime, think first about what problems you could solve for the business. Will leadership have to invest in new technology to make that possible? Then, think about how flextime benefits you, such as reduced stress and improved work-life balance. Your enhanced morale will benefit the business, too.
Next: varieties of flextime in small business
(Knoxville News Sentinel Online syndicated columnist Mildred Culp, Ph.D., may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. © 2019 Passage Media.)
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