Have employers begun to embrace flexi hours?

Friday November 8 2019



Jane Muiruri

Jane Muiruri 

By Jane Muiruri

What is your opinion on flexi hours? Would you allow your employees to determine which days and hours they come to work? Pesh

Dear Pesh,
Work hours vary in different companies, and are dictated by the nature of business. In some industries, the business premises operate day and night, meaning that there must be employees at the various work stations at any given time.

In such instances, shift patterns are mostly employed to give each employee adequate time to rest and rejuvenate. Organisations that practice flexi time defend it fiercely, and their view is that what matters at the end of the day is the level of productivity. Some organisations allow their staff to work from home on agreed days of the week.

They believe you don’t require brick and mortar style of operation to accomplish set tasks, and that some employees are more productive when working from the comfort of their sofa sets. Others allow their employees to report late and work late, or vice versa. Whatever their chosen style, most organisations that allow for these options have a rule that all employees must be available for meetings. Flexi time is encouraged and it is indeed a good concept, but it may not be applicable in all professions or fields.

In the hospitality industry, operations are customer-centred and therefore, the industry uses a shift pattern that ensures that all critical departments have attendants on a 24-hour basis. Over time, doctors have perfected the art of flexi time, especially those who run private practices. They can choose to report early to work but often, the time they clock off is dependent on the number of clients.

In the media industry, consumers are at the heart of operations and therefore, flexi time may not always be possible especially at weekends and public holidays. The work plan can be created in a way that ensures that everyone gets their well-deserved rest, and that customers are served well. However, flexi time is sometimes abused, and the employer ends up getting the shorter end of the stick. Therefore, there must be strict guidelines governing this policy.

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There are also administrative and security protocols that must be put in place to ensure flexi time works, such as ensuring the office is open early and closed late to accommodate the different reporting and leaving time.

Jane Muiruri
Senior HR Manager, Nation Media Group
jwmuiruri@ke.nationmedia.com

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