One cannot underestimate building trust and utilising it in creative ways to boost both performance and satisfaction. The result? Most often, a lot of happiness.

Where you start is less important than starting

In October last year, we opened up about how employers could help cut down on traffic congestion. While it is impractical to expect organisations to be in a position to implement all possible solutions, it is always a good time to start contributing.

The concept of flexitime is simple. You have some leeway regarding when your working hours begin and end. As long as your work is done, and as long as there are no adverse effects, it is a win-win situation.

At the start, flesh out the implications of a flexitime policy. Have the discussions, especially the difficult ones. Can it apply as a blanket policy? What are the limitations? Will you keep a critical eye on it? How will you determine success? You’ll need answers to this before moving forward.

Granted, it isn’t as easy to implement this in a company with multiple departments and work styles. To succeed, you would need to critically examine the roles and associated processes down to the team level. Don’t let this discourage you, though. Barring a major restructuring, you only need to do this once.

Flexitime has guidelines

These rules will vary between organisations, and sometimes within them as well.

Keep this in mind, though. Flexitime is generally offered as a perk. As such, it should not take precedent over any other policies or work processes. Your managers will need to make certain that their teams acknowledge and understand this. It will remain critical, because you can ill afford the derailment of established successful practices.

Furthermore, decide early how lenient you can be with timing. There are some interactions and tasks which cannot deviate too far from standard business/operating hours. You must, above all, be certain to keep service levels and employee performance at acceptable standards.

Finally, you should always build in exceptions. Try and anticipate situations where flexitime cannot apply. For example, it would be a poor call to permit someone flexitime when a vital outcome, dependent on that person,  is pending.

Trust is your mantra

Flexitime inherently demands a certain level of trust between employer and employee. That trust extends wide and far.

An employer will be trusting staff to not only keep to the policy rules, but also to know where they can or should not apply them. Trust is, of course, one of the most important aspects of any company culture. Make sure you have this at a desired level. In the ideal scenario, there is enough trust that a flexitime policy need not be strictly monitored.

By the same token, employees should be expected to realise that a tremendous amount of trust is being placed in their integrity and reliability to work to the same potential. The best way to keep this trust is to carry on earning it. And the best way to achieve this is to ensure continuous work output and acceptable performance. This is where planning plays another major role. The ability to prepare and manage workloads in order to gain flexitime advantages is one you can easily adopt. This becomes even easier once management is part of that learning curve.

Making flexitime part of who you (and your organisation) are

Perks are for enjoyment and adding value to the work experience. Flexitime is no exception. The old maxim of “use it, don’t abuse it” holds true here. It’s something to appreciate and make work less of a chore. The benefits, too, are worthwhile. Think about having an extra hour to spend with family on weekday afternoons. Or consider the advantage of a longer gym session in the mornings.

As a company, promoting staff health and wellness is part and parcel of social responsibility. Giving employees multiple smaller advantages often has a synergistic cumulative effect. In other words, it all adds up to much more.

Adept is a proponent of trust as both an ingrained value and as a tool to build happier working relationships.