How to make a success of flex-time and telecommuting – alternative hour arrangements

A number of entries have dealt with flex-time (See my post of June 9, 2007 and four references cited.) and telecommuting (See my post of May 30, 2006.) but none of them have pulled together the basic principles of success. For convenience I will refer to them as “alternative hour arrangements” (AHAs).

1. Grant these rights to AHA workers who have earned your confidence.

2. Treat everyone equally who seeks an AHA.

3. Make sure that others in the department are not resentful.

4. Make sure that everyone preserves the non-work time of the others. If too many people make exceptions (“just this one meeting on Friday can you call in?”) the benefits of the AHA evaporate.
5. Arrange for extra time to meet or speak with the AHA workers.

6. Try to have the AHA workers handle activities that have some countable output, so there can be ways to monitor productivity.

7. Compensate the workers in proportion to the hours they actually work. Many people end up putting in more hours than they are paid for.

8. Always make clear that the exigencies of work may, from time to time, temporarily over-ride the arrangement. The same contingency applies after all to full-time employees.

9. Keep in compliance with the HR policies of your company.

10. Consider setting up a support group.for AHA workers and perhaps an ombudsman.

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