Flexible workplace hours

Hello! Long time listener, first time caller :wink:

I’m a manager over about 80 people, mostly engineers and researchers. Our formal policies about work hours are fairly fixed, with core daily hours, 1-hour lunches, fixed sick/vacation leave pools and no provision for flexing time (e.g. leave 2 hours early on Wednesday, make it up over the week). And technically, any “work from home” is supposed to be approved on an as-needed basis.

In practice, supervisors are generally flexible within reason, and from my own experience, I have never had someone lose productivity because I granted them some flexibility – unless they weren’t productive to begin with.

The workplace appears ready to tighten down the rules and remind everyone they are supposed to be in approved locations during approved hours, and crack down on leniency.

I feel this would basically send the message “We don’t trust you.”

Can anyone recommend links to studies about the positive or negative effects of workplace flexibility? I know generally that many companies have moved away from fixed locations and hours.

The key for me is that your promoted culture should be replicated in your policies, procedures and practices.

In terms of the ‘trust’ point, you’re probably right. Unless there is a health and safety issue with knowing where people are, or a requirement to ensure customers needs are met at certain places or at certain times.

Definitely more companies are moving away from clocking in and out - but not all and…as you say, it’s about the tone from the top. What do you want your message to convey? If you’re happy with how it’s perceived, that’s OK. If not, you need to rethink.

My first question would be why the crackdown and then why now? If there isn’t a specific and pressing reason, I think it could be quite damaging. I don’t see how external experiences would influence them - what’s behind the decision?

I found this by internet search, and find that SHRM is generally a good source. HOWEVER I didn’t read the full report! Just a reminder to self & others that research can often be found to support just about any view on a subject!