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All About Flextime: Definition, Types, and BenefitsIs summer time approaching, and your budget

Updated: Feb 29

what is flextime and how does it work

Is summer time approaching, and your budget is too tight for child care?

Is there a midday yoga class opening with the best yoga teacher in your area, but it’s on a Tuesday?

Is it time to visit family, but you have a big project coming up?

Flextime is the solution to these modern work-life issues. It’s the 21st century, and the expectation that all employees should work in the office for a set amount of time every week is droll — and dwindling in popularity.

Flextime grants employees the ability to work how and when they want. It is flexible and low-stress. It challenges the notion that productivity is intrinsically tied to strict schedules and supervision.

In this article, we will define flextime and discuss how different types of flextime work schedules can benefit not only employees but employers.

Table of Contents

What Is Flextime?

Flextime is the liberty to decide when you start and stop working each day. As long as you fulfill your set amount of hours each week, the day is yours to seize.

Flextime is not your traditional work arrangement. Instead of the old 9-to-5, flextime allows employees and employers to delegate workplace responsibilities at their own pace.

Flextime allows employees to be flexible with their time. If there is a meeting or issue that requires the employee and employer to meet, the employee can always come into the office for the day.

Do you have children or dependents that require daily care? Flextime allows you to work when they’re asleep. Prefer to go to the gym at midday when there is no one there? Flextime allows you to take midday breaks for extended periods. Expecting to entertain or visit family over the holidays? Don’t miss out on the fun or use your vacation days; flextime allows you to work when there’s downtime between family activities.

What Is Flexplace?

Flexplace, like flextime, gives employees a little more freedom than traditional work arrangements. Flexplace is the ability to work anywhere you want, so long as you fulfill your role. Flexplace is excellent for employees with long commutes or dependents who require daily care.

Work in your home, work while visiting family for the holidays, work right next to a pool — flexplace allows you to work anywhere you want, no exceptions. You could even work while on vacation!

Flextime and Flexplace work schedules allow employees the flexibility to work their jobs the way that fits their lifestyle. If you can work everywhere at any time, you probably don’t use a lot of PTO or vacation days, right?

So what should you do with your unused PTO?

If you don’t spend it, you could lose it if your company does not have a rollover policy. If your employer allows you to cash out your unused PTO after you leave the company, you’re sitting on a lump of potential cash that you could use to work while you go on vacation.

Sorbet can help you access your unused PTO through a cash advance. Don’t wait to get paid for PTO days you may never use. Learn more today.

5 Common Flextime Work Schedules

Remote Work

Remote work allows employees to work outside of a traditional office setting. Employees might work at home, a cafe, or the library. Remote work allows employees to work at their own pace in a comfortable environment.

This type of flextime work arrangement became extremely popular after the 2020 pandemic. Some companies never reverted once the pandemic ended due to the benefits remote work provides. Some employers offer jobs that are hybrid work-from-home and in-office positions. This requires employees to work a certain amount of days in the office and the rest of the time remotely.

Job Sharing

This flextime work schedule involves two part-time employees sharing the responsibilities of a full-time position in shifts. These employees communicate and coordinate work hours and tasks.

For example, one employee might work the 7 am to 12 pm shift, and the other employee works the 1 pm to 5 pm shift.

Customized Work Hours

This is the most basic definition of flextime. Employees are tasked with working a certain set of hours a day, but it doesn’t matter when those hours are worked. The start and end time does not matter, so long as their work role is fulfilled.

Customized work hours work great for positions that involve creation like graphic design, writing, or coding.

Flexible Work Week

This flextime work style allows employees to completely choose how they want to work for the week. If a project requires a certain amount of hours and the employee finishes with time remaining, they’re allowed to take that time off.

For example, if an employee finishes all of their work in four days, they're allowed a three-day weekend.

Comp Time

Instead of overtime pay, employees can work overtime for extra time off. Imagine that a job requires 8-hour work days, five days a week. If you work two 12-hour days and 2 8-hour days, you can take one day of the week off.

5 Benefits of Flextime for Employees

#1: Improved Work-Life Balance and Job Satisfaction

Flextime work schedules give you the liberty to choose how you manage your time. This makes room for more work-life balance, especially if you are a student or have children.

With flextime, you can accomplish work tasks while making room for your personal responsibilities. This gives employees a sense of freedom that is devoid of traditional work arrangements. And it leads to higher job satisfaction.

A joint study conducted by the University of Minnesota and MIT’s Sloan School of Management found that workers who participated in a pilot flextime program “voiced higher levels of job satisfaction and reduced levels of burnout and psychological stress than employees within the same company who did not participate.”

#2: Less Stress Due to Traffic and Commuting

You rise and shine every day at the same time. You attempt to give yourself an ample amount of time to beat the traffic. You skip grabbing a coffee because it’s Thursday and for some reason, Thursdays are the worst for traffic. You do everything in your power to not get stuck in traffic, and it doesn’t make a difference. You are in bumper-to-bumper traffic for most of your commute.

What’s even worse is the time you take to commute to work is typically not recognized as a part of your work day.

Flextime work schedules allow employees to avoid the stress of commuting. This style of work also allows employees to start their work day quicker and in a better mood. No more dealing with impatient drivers. No more skipping coffee in the morning because you’re running late.

Flextime could also impact your carbon footprint. One study found that even working from home one day a week could significantly cut emissions caused by daily commutes. Avoiding a daily commute also saves workers money. Compared to office employees, remote workers save an average of $4,523 on fuel annually.

#3: Easier Coordination of Appointments and Parental Responsibilities

Sometimes you need to attend appointments that must be scheduled within the time that traditional work days operate. Dentist’s and doctor’s offices are generally open from 8 am to 5 pm, which means attending appointments means missing part of the workday.

A flextime work arrangement gives employees the agency to attend these necessary appointments and obligations by simply adjusting their daily work schedule.

This is also incredibly handy if you have children. Children are sweet and adorable but germy. They get sick a lot. Working a flextime schedule can allow you to pick up your child from school or daycare when they’re sick without missing a beat in your workday.

#4: More Opportunities for Personal and Professional Development

When you thrive, you excel — in all aspects of your life. When you can manage your work life and personal life responsibilities, you have more time to do things that you enjoy.

Eliminating the time it takes to commute leaves more time to spend relaxing once your work day has finished. Dictating when you start and stop work grants you the ability to do things during the day that you normally would not have the ability to do in a 9-5 work schedule. This can make people less stressed and happier.

When you’re not indignant about how much your job dictates your day, you work better.

Studies show that when you are satisfied with your job, your performance improves, and when your job performance improves you’re likely to be rewarded. Existing research also suggests that when you have more authority over your time at work, your performance is positively influenced.

#5: Possible Improved Health

If your work arrangement causes you less amounts of stress, you’re going to feel better physically and mentally. Evidence suggests that chronic job stress can contribute to higher rates of cardiovascular disease.

Working from home also exposes you to fewer people and their germs. Working a flextime schedule can help you avoid getting sick and needing time off.

4 Benefits of Flextime for Employers

#1: Lower Employee Turnover and Decreased Absenteeism

When employees can plan how they conduct their workday, they are less prone to stress and burnout, which might lead to higher rates of turnover and absenteeism.

A study conducted by Owl Labs demonstrated that companies with flextime schedules have 25% lower employee turnover rates than companies that enforce traditional work schedules. Another survey by Owl Labs found that flextime workers are 13% more likely to remain at their current job for the next five years than on-site employees.

#2: Greater Productivity

Flextime allows employees to work at the times that they are most physically and mentally available.

A survey conducted by Airtasker found that flextime employees worked an average of 1.4 more work days a month than traditional workers. No daily commute means more time employees might be willing to work. According to the same source mentioned above, non-commuters save an average of 408 hours a year compared to workers with a daily commute.

Further evidence also suggests that flextime employees work longer and harder than their traditional work schedule counterparts.

#3: Improved Cost-Efficiency

Greater productivity from flextime work styles means improved cost efficiency. If employees are more productive, projects are completed more quickly. Quicker completion times mean that more work can get done without having to hire more employees.

Remote work also provides a financial advantage that eliminates the cost of running an office. If employees do not need an office to conduct business, money that would have been used to rent or own a space and supply water and electricity to the building could be used in other ways.

#4: Easier To Attract Top Talent

Jobs that utilize flextime schedules are highly sought after. This gives employers an edge in drawing top talent from hiring pools. Evidence from the American Opportunity Survey concludes that up to 87% of Americans would take a position that offered flextime if given the opportunity.

Possible Disadvantages of Flextime Work

Flextime work schedules may not uniformly apply or yield the same benefits for every job or company.

There is the possibility a flextime work schedule could impose the risk of complications like:

  • Scheduling and communication issues

  • Lack of oversight and monitoring

  • Difficulty ensuring fairness and equity

  • Difficulty balancing flexibility with business needs

Companies that require a heavy level of cohesion may not benefit from flextime work. Jobs that would likely benefit the most from flextime work options include:

  • Freelance positions

  • Part-time positions

  • Customer service

  • Graphic designers

  • Accountants

  • Consultants

  • Information technology (IT)

How To Enhance Your Work-Life Balance With Flextime and Sorbet

Flextime work styles come with so many different advantages. Plus, when you enjoy your work — you don’t want to take time off!

So what happens to all of that accrued PTO?

If your employer pays out your unused PTO days at the end of your employment, you’re likely sitting on a goldmine of untapped monetary potential. You could wait until you leave your job to access this money, or you could get it now and use it on whatever you want. Enhance your everyday flextime work schedule by turning your unused PTO into “fun money”.

Planning a wedding? Want to go on vacation? Want to buy a new toy for your favorite hobby?

Don’t wait! Sorbet can help you advance your PTO today.

Sorbet’s PTO Advance Solutions Can Benefit You No Matter What Work Model You Choose

So you’re interested in Sorbet’s PTO advance solutions.

How do you begin the process?

Here’s how:

  1. Calculate the value of your unused PTO. Spend just a few seconds of your time with a few clicks.

  2. Apply within minutes with no risk or credit checks. If you change your mind, that’s okay. We won’t hold it against you.

  3. Get paid for your unused PTO! It’s that easy.

Don’t let the potential of your unused PTO go to waste. Use it when you want or need it now with Sorbet.

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