Flextime Work Options and the Key to a Successful Commute

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Learn the strategies and tools that can make flextime work for your business and keep your employees happy.   

For many reasons that include childcare and transportation options, a traditional 9 to 5, 40-hour work week is not always a great option for today’s worker. Flexible work programs offer an alternative, allowing employees to vary their arrival and/or departure time and even the days and place of work. They offer flexibility in the amount of hours worked, the scheduling of hours work, and location of where work is performed.

Flex time is a powerful tool to get your employees out of frustrating traffic and working productively. It is also a way to retain and attract key employees whose personal needs may not work out with traditional work days and hours.

Flextime Options

So just what kind of options are there to the traditional workday?

  1. Job-Sharing Two workers each work 1/2 time in the same job.
  2. Flex Hours Employees either come in earlier or later than others like 6 a.m. – 3 p.m. or 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. Or, employees can come into the office for part of the day and work from home part of the day avoiding peak commute hours.
  3. Compressed Work Week Employees work a four-day week (4, 10 hour days) or four long and one short day (4, 9 hours days plus 1 4 hour day). These can be alternated and staggered to ensure companies always have coverage.
  4. Long/Short Seasons Some companies are busy at certain times of the year. Employees work more than 40 hours during busier times of the year and less during slower times.
  5. Project Hours Employees are paid by the project vs. salaried. Employees function more like an external consultant in this structure.

How to Ensure You Are Successful

Worried your employees might take advantage of the situation? Here are a few things to keep in mind.

  1. Make the goals and structure clear. Like in a telework program, performance must be clearly defined and measurable.
  2. Be clear on communication and who is responsible for what. How does everyone stay connected when working different schedules?
  3. When will you connect and have ‘face-time’ whether by phone, virtual meeting, or in person? How much contact do you want with your employees? How much time do they need to have together to keep team, performance, and relationships optimum?
  4. Be clear on schedules and have regular working hours. Make sure everyone knows who is where, when, and how.

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Getting Started with Flextime: Metropia 

Employers who want to consider flextime without a big investment of new policy or cost may be interested in Metropia, a free mobile app that was recently launched in Austin as a technology solution to reduce congestion. More than an app—it is a community of drivers, employers, local businesses and government agencies helping to alleviate Austin’s traffic congestion—one trip at a time.

Metropia is working with employers to offer smarter travel options for their employees who drive to work or drive on behalf of their employer, enabling them to cut transportation time and costs.  The app recommends the best times to leave for and from work as well as alternative routes that avoid traffic. It encourages commuters to leave a little earlier or later to improve their driving experience and avoid peak traffic by offering points for modifying their behaviors. The points can be redeemed at local businesses or put towards environmental initiatives, like planting trees.

Employers and employees alike should be heartened by the results from Metropia’s initial field tests, which showed that Metropia drivers saved about 10-15 percent in travel time on average. Those drivers who changed both their departure time and route were able to save travel time ranging from 20 to 30 percent. Metropia’s tests also show that about 40 percent of users changed their routes and 60 percent changed the times they leave for their destinations.

Here’s how Metropia can help employer partners:

  1. One-on-one consultation on how flextime with Metropia can benefit employees.
  2. Select one or more of the following employee education and engagement activities:
  3. Onsite signup/outreach information booth
  4. Presentations or moderated discussion
  5. Employee posters (electronic copy)
  6. Information cards (hard copy)
  7. Ad for internal newsletters, message screens (see image)
  8. Newsletter article
  9. Contests for employee Metropia users
  10. Opportunities to incorporate employer-specific ‘rewards’ into the app. (e.g., time off, employer branded items).
  11. Web-based, dashboard reporting on cumulative, average travel-time savings, carbon dioxide savings, and fuel savings. Also reporting on insights on employee travel behaviors through maps and visualizations, and, for employers with flextime goals, track progress towards meeting that goal.
  12. Recognition as an employee partner and for contributing to traffic reduction in the region.

Are you ready to take the next step? 

Click here to join the mobility challenge and get free consulting support paid for by the City of Austin and Capital Metro to build your mobility program.

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