Scheduling Options

In today’s workforce, employees are looking for scheduling options that help them balance their work and their home life. There are several options that may work well for your organization, and at the same time help employees achieve this balance.

Let’s check out some of these options…

Part-time –
If your work processes can allow for employees to work on a part-time basis, this may be an easy scheduling option for you. Part-time provides individuals with the opportunity to just work a couple of hours a week. This status appeals to students who want time to attend classes, parents who have child care concerns, retirees who want to keep busy, or individuals who just want more time to pursue other interests. Part-time can also be a great way to get employees trained and moved up in your workforce. Many full-time employees started as part-time employees.

Employers can set the hours for part-time employees. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) considers a 40-hour workweek as full-time, so technically…part-time can be any amount of hours less than 40, but generally it’s between 20 – 30 hours per week. One factor for employers to be aware of is benefits. Employers should check with their providers to see if there are stipulations about the number of hours an employee works and how this relates to your benefit plan. Also, employers should keep up-to-date on state and federal laws and regulations to make sure they are in compliance with benefits part-time employees may qualify for, such as the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Compressed Workweeks –
Compressed workweeks are becoming more popular. This option allows employees to work more hours in a workday and less days in a workweek. The employee is still working 40 hours a week, just in different increments. An example of this schedule is the 4/10 workweek. This schedule allows employees to work 10 hours a day over 4 days in a week for a total of 40 hours. Also popular is the 9/80 biweekly. This allows employees to work 9 hours a day with one day off every other week. Keep in mind that FLSA overtime rules still apply and non-exempt employees working either schedule are required to be paid overtime for the weeks in which they work over 40 hours. Also keep in mind that states that have overtime rules for time worked over 8 hours in a day will need to pay particular attention to the schedules and overtime regulations for that state.

Flextime –
Employers who offer flex time are basically allowing employees to come in and leave at times that may not always be consistent. As long as the employee gets in their required amount of hours per day or week, they can come in later or leave earlier when necessary. This is a benefit for employees as it allows them the opportunity to deal with life issues in which they need to be available, such as getting their child on or off the school bus. They can also schedule doctor appointments in the morning or early evening. Flextime permits minimal disruption to the company processes while also minimizing the time employees would take off to deal with these situations.

Job Sharing –
The concept of job sharing has been around for a while and may work great if you have a large part-time staff. This option allows employees who perform the same job the opportunity to work on a part-time basis. For example: if a company has an assembly line that needs to be staffed on a full-time basis, Employee A can come in the morning and work through lunch putting together widgets. Employee B can come in at lunch and work until the end of the shift at the same station performing the same job. So…there are two part-time employees performing the job of one full-time employee. As stated under the part-time schedule option, this works well for those wanting more time for their life activities.

Telecommuting –
If your organization has positions that can be performed without having employees onsite, then this option will work well for you as it allows employees to work remotely from their home. Telecommuting is flexible in that you can have employees work a couple hours or days from home, but require them to come onsite for some days or only for specific meetings on a weekly or monthly basis. Companies who utilize this option can save on overhead costs and travel expenses, and it has shown to be helpful in reducing employee turnover and absenteeism.

Now that we have covered some scheduling options, let’s look at some issues that employers need to address before considering any of them.

  • Will this option work for my company/department?
  • How will we ensure employees have access to our facilities and/or necessary equipment?
  • Can we effectively supervise employees with this schedule?
  • Will we need to update policies and/or procedures for this option (i.e. calculation of PTO or clocking in/out)?
  • Will employees get burnt out working longer days?
  • Are there safety concerns to be aware of?
  • Have we covered all overtime and benefit concerns associated with this schedule?
  • How will we effectively communicate with employees?
  • Will we need to modify our payroll system or make changes to our pay period or payday?
  • Other concerns may arise as you start exploring any of these options.

Either of the above-referenced options can boost employee morale….and happy employees are productive employees!

EAF members can contact us for insight into any of these options. We also have sample policies and templates that can be used to assist in creating a schedule that will work for your organization.

EAF responds to hundreds of hotline calls and emails monthly. We would be happy to answer any interesting questions you may have too! Contacts us at [email protected] or 407.260.6556

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