I don't know why I have known the chorus to Dolly Parton's hit song 9 to 5 for as long as I can remember, but I have. I'm pretty sure I never saw the movie of the same name (featuring Dolly, as well as Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin), or was exposed to the song on a regular basis (our household was more apt to play The Beatles or CCR). Somewhere along my life's journey I heard the song and it is now firmly entrenched in my mind.
Regarding the movie, and still not having seen it, I have so many questions. 9 to 5 is 8 hours, which is the usual number of working hours in a day. To work their 8 hours, did these ladies not get a lunch break? Or, did they get a lunch break, but only work 7 hours a day and 35 hours a week. So many questions.
I bring this up to disucss flextime. Both of our offices here at Hiregy, in Tampa and Orlando, have traditionally operated on an 8 to 5 schedule, Monday through Friday. This is a bit of a peek behind the curtain, but we have recently adopted flextime to allow our employees the option to vary up their hours. We have offered employees the choice to adjust their new starting and ending times. Employees have chosen to start as early as 7 A.M. (and would then leave at 4 P.M.) and starting as "late" as 9 A.M. (which will see them work until 6 P.M.).
So far, the response has been great. The benefits of flextime, as outlined in this article on CBSNews.com, include:
Greater work-life balance for employees.
Employees are not mindless drones. Some of them may be morning people, and will have run a 5K and swam two miles before another employee has hit the snooze alarm for the first of what will be five or six times. Your early birds will appreciate the extra time in the morning to exercise, while your night owls will appreciate that extra hour or so of sleep. Employees with kids will love the flexible schedule to accomodate school drop-offs/pick-ups and attending afternoon sporting events. And some of us (yours truly included) may just appreciate getting a jump on the morning and afternoon traffic.
A cost-saving way to "reward" employees which can help in employee retention.
Flextime does not cost the company anything, unlike sales contests rewards and other benefits, but it goes a long way in attracting and keeping employees.
Happier and more productive employees.
Having a greater work-life balance will lead to employees being happier, which leads to employees being more productive.
To sum it up, flextime will lead to happier and more productive employees, without costing anything to the company. Sounds like a win-win to me.