Industrial Relations Advisory: When to Use a Flexi-time System


When is it appropriate to use flexi-time?



When it will make the organisation more efficient for less cost and when it solves problems faced by employees and customers. Banks and some retail stores, as well as some IT firms have used one variant of this system for years, hiring staff to work only the core hours when customers are more likely to demand service, usually between 10:00 am and 2:00 pm. There are many people who prefer to work those hours, leaving the “rush hour” traffic at both ends of the day free to pick up and drop children.

Others avoid the traffic by working from 7:00 am to 3:00 pm or 9:00 am to 5:00 pm which is convenient for many organizations, providing that those hours are also known to AND convenient for customers, and there is adequate supervision to cover the non-standard hours. The main problem is lack of supervision, where employees take advantage of a system they, themselves, have requested to help them with their own problems and arrive at work for 7:00 am, check in or clock in, then engage in a leisurely breakfast rather than getting down to work, or, alternatively, when they do a 9:00 am to 5:00 pm day, spending the 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm slot surfing the internet or engaging in some non-work activity because there is no one around to supervise. The answer to this problem is to make sure that specific and measurable work assignments are given to cover the periods in question, and that there is some kind of monitoring system in place.

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