With our personal lives busier than ever, offering flexible work options to your employees could be the best way to keep the good ones around. BY DR. DAVID G. JAVITCH[->0] | June 5, 2006|
Five days a week, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., 48 to 50 weeks per year: That had been the typical work schedule for a good portion of Americans for many decades. But by the 1990's, employees were finding that the traditional workweek was sub-optimal. But why? Though still very dedicated to their jobs, a certain percentage of the workforce was trying to adapt to the combined needs of a demanding professional life and a busy personal life. They were feeling off kilter and unbalanced. They required a more novel approach to the workweek and found it necessary to request a special, more flexible work schedule. Their reasons for wanting this "flextime" were many and varied. In some cases, the quality of both their work performance and their home life was decreasing. Parents of young children needed time to drop those kids off at school or day care. Employees with elderly parents needed time to assist with their parents' daily care or even drop them off at elder care facilities. And at the end of the day, pick-up obligations for both kids and parents again ate into the traditional nine to five workday. And there are reasons that go beyond the traditional family care issues. For instance, some employees need time off to attend or teach classes; other workers have a second job. Many need to adjust their schedules to avoid serious, predictable and time-consuming traffic jams. And for others, working a nontraditional part-time schedule is a lifestyle choice. But as an employer, why would you consider offering flextime? After all, it's "different," and if you run a very traditional sort of business or operate out of habit, to see employees arriving and leaving at various times during the day can be upsetting. It can also be problematic to...