Flextime (Flexitime)

Definition

The term flextime refers to a company policy that allows an employee to work an hourly schedule that varies from the company's standard workday.  Flextime is offered by businesses to help employees find a comfortable balance between their work and personal lives.

Explanation

Also referred to as flex time and flexitime, flextime is a benefit offered to employees that allows them to select the hours they will work each day.  Typically, employers will establish a core set of office hours that must be part of the employee's flextime selection.  Having a core set of hours allows teams to schedule meetings and have all members attend.

Even when flextime has restrictions, employees may still enjoy a great deal of leeway when selecting their schedule.  For example, an employer may require all employees to be on the property from 10:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m.  This provides employees with eight options (assuming an eight hour work day and half hour for lunch) as shown below:

  • 6:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., 7:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., 9:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., and 10:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Flextime allows employees to balance the demands of their jobs with the demands of their after-work lives.  Flexible work hours also permit employees to avoid commuting traffic, schedule personal appointments during "normal" work hours, attend classes, and accommodate their children's or elder parents' schedules.

The benefits of flextime extend to employers too.  For example, workers enjoying this benefit tend to have higher levels of engagement with their companies and call in sick less frequently.  Individual work groups will also enjoy more coverage, since some employees may start work earlier while others work later shifts.

Related Terms

benefits, flexible benefits plan, flexplace, shift work, telecommuting, voluntary reduced worktime