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Making flextime work without chaos

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in Leaders & Managers,Management Training

Flextime sounded like a good idea at the time, right? Has it become a head­ache for you to keep track of—let alone supervise—your employees with flexible schedules? Has your flexibility turned into a free-for-all? Here's some expert advice on how to make flextime work:

Mandate core hours. Establish a win­dow of time during the day—say, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.—when it's mandatory for people to either be in the office or, when necessary and appropriate, out in the field. If you have telecommuters who don't come into the office at all on certain days, ask them to be sure they're reachable by phone during these hours. Schedule meetings (or conference calls) within this window, and make a habit of checking in with employees near the end of this "core time" each day, to make sure projects are moving along and tasks are accomplished.

Don't succumb to peer pressure. Just because Joe had flexible hours at his last job is no reason for you to go along with bad habits. Yes, flextime is a benefit that a lot of enterprises have found valuable for keeping employees happy. No, that doesn't mean it's always going to work for your team and your workload.

Focus on productivity. An attitude of "I don't care when you're here, as long as you get your work done" is only effective when people are getting work done. Make sure your expectations for productivity are being shaped by the work you could be doing. If people can afford to slack off and turn flextime into part-time work, then give them more challenging assignments.

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