Work-life balance is a concept that people and companies like to say they value, but it can be hard to put into action. A nine-to-five job doesn’t always allow for as much work-life balance as we’d like, and also isn’t conducive to every individual’s work style. ChatterBlast recognizes that work-life balance looks different for everyone, which is where our flexible work policy comes in.
What is ChatterBlast’s flexible work policy?
CBM’s flex policy gives Blasters the opportunity to adjust their work hours to better suit their personal schedules, goals, and interests. Flex time is not extra paid time off, but rather a means of shifting working hours to allow for more flexibility. For example, a flex schedule could mean working 10 hours per day Monday through Thursday and taking Friday off to go on a hike. Or it could mean leaving at 2:30pm on Wednesdays to go horseback riding and making up those three hours throughout the rest of the week, as I do right now.
I have been making the most of the flex policy since it was implemented in August of 2020. Outside of work I spend a lot of time training horses, which is a big time commitment. It isn’t always possible to find the two-plus hours I need for a training session while working an average work day, so I flex my schedule to have at least one day out of the week when my morning or afternoon is completely free to go ride.
This is just one way to use flex hours, but others might include making time to play a round of golf, go for a mid-week hike, take a class, or attend the kids’ soccer game. Flex time is also extremely useful for those little life necessities that pop up, like doctor’s appointments and visits from the plumber that always seem to get scheduled during the middle of the day. Flex time makes it so that employees don’t have to use their allotted paid time off for day-to-day needs and can save it for vacations and true personal time.
Challenges of flex time
There are some challenges that come with flex time. Finding time for the team to meet is hard enough on a regular work day, let alone when different people are out-of-office at different times of the day. ChatterBlast has partially worked around this by asking that all Blasters be available and online on Tuesdays from 9:00am to 3:00pm. This allows for all-team meetings and guarantees availability.
A big part of making flex time work for everyone is communication. Blasters always communicate when they will be out-of-office on flex time and keep that time consistent if it’s on a week-to-week basis. That time also gets reflected on a shared calendar.
When it comes to my own scheduling, I find that it works best when the entire week is planned to accommodate flex time, not just the individual day. I schedule meetings and individual work time in my calendar, and I decide ahead of time when I’ll make up my flex time hours, whether that’s starting earlier or working later a couple of days during the week. But as long as it’s set up correctly, that time is mine to use how I so choose!
Benefits of flex time
While there are some hitches that come with alternative schedules, the benefits ultimately outweigh the challenges for employees and employers. The employee benefits by getting to break up the monotony of the work week, having more free time for interests and hobbies, and gaining more control over what the day looks like. More than anything, flexible work schedules can lead to improved mental health and a happier employee overall.
A happier employee also means greater benefit to ChatterBlast. Employees with a flexible work schedule have proven to be less prone to burnout and psychological stress, which makes it more likely that they’ll show up engaged and enthusiastic for work. Flexible work schedules also lead to higher productivity overall. When employees have the ability to create working conditions suited to their individual needs, they are more likely to remain focused and produce a higher quality of work.
Implementing flex scheduling is unique to every organization and can come with challenges, but prioritizing mental health and well-being of employees has become a priority in the job market. Remote and hybrid work is here to stay, and it is more practical than ever to mix up the traditional work structure to meet our new standards.