Flex-Time- Is the Concept Coming or Going?

26 Jul 2005

Do your employees make their own hours? This week, the subject of “Flex-Time” kept popping up on my computer. USA Today said the practice of flexible hours and allowing your employees to work at home has stalled. Major companies aren’t offering the option, and many employees fear that having such an arrangement puts them a greater risk for being laid-off.

Time Magazine had an article Richard Sloan forwarded to me that implied Flex-Time is not only good, but essential if you want to employ talented people with constraints on their time (you could insert “mothers” here). Their study of Best Buy’s corporate practices found workers are happier and more productive when they make their own schedules (plus they have less long fruitless meetings).

The last item popped up in an e-mail article by Tobi Elkin from Mediapost.com (Sorry, but I can’t figure out how to link it here). At a conference of executive women in New York, called “Power Women,” the topic turned to flexible hours. "The workforce must change," declared Dr. Caroline Kovac, an executive at IBM. She said that it’s not just women who need flexibility. "You need to find flexibility for all employees. We need to find a better way."

Shelly Lazarus, chairman and CEO, Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide said the advertising business is all about talent. "It’s not about flex time; it’s about meeting people on their own terms." That may apply to more than just the creative personalities she employs.

As a small business owner, you make your hours–probably way too many of them. How do you feel about the hours of those you hire? Are your employees good enough to manage their own schedules? Does it depend upon the personality? Are you willing to sacrifice hours spent in the office for better talent? They are all questions growing businesses face. Lend your fellow entrepreneurs a hand and share your experiences.

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