On Flex Time: How to Fail

In my last post about making flex time successful, I talked about some best practices that I find make flex time a beautiful thing for everyone involved. Now I’ll chat about how to completely fail with flex time.

  1. Be grouchy about it. Your employees aren’t stupid, and they know when you’re unhappy about something. If you resent employees who have flex time, you’ll damage their morale, and give other employees good reason to be grumpy about their co-workers’ arrangements.
  2. Don’t listen to complaints. Let’s say you have an employee who works weekends and takes off Thursdays and Fridays to take care of the kids. This arrangement seems fine, and then you have a huge roll-out that is scheduled to go live on a Thursday. This employee, a vital engineer on the project, might not think that he needs to be there on that Thursday. People complain, and you just shrug. The roll-out is harder, morale suffers, and people start resenting the flex person. This is sub-optimal for teamwork, to say the least.
  3. Don’t plan for it. Make sure you remember that someone has a four-day week when you’re planning projects and schedules. You cannot always depend on that person to show up on every Friday to make up for your poor planning–wouldn’t that defeat the purpose of flex time?

I’m sure there are many other creative ways to fail at flex time, but I’m hoping that these two entries will help you avoid them.