Flextime gives talent what they need most: Time to pursue dream
I am a typical flextime user. As a mom, I need to be able to adjust my work schedule to accommodate things like picking my kids up from after-school activities, etc. As a result, I made flextime part of the benefit package at my company (it's good to be the boss!). My employees work a 40-hour week in the office, but are given the ability to adjust their schedule for activities like doctor appointments, events they want to attend, and other things important to work-life balance.
Surprisingly, of all the staff members, it happens to be one young guy in our office that uses the flextime the most...
Meet Nick, Office Professional & Sports Broadcaster!
I've known Nick ever since he did an internship with me years ago. Recently, when I shared we were hiring, Nick mentioned he'd love to join us, but he was looking for a job that would let him continue to pursue his passion: sports broadcasting. It's what he went to school for. He currently has a part-time gig as an announcer for a minor league hockey team. Thus, in order for him to do his job for us and keep the broadcasting job, he needed flextime. Imagine how thrilled he was to hear that it wouldn't be an issue.
Offering Flextime Is Smart Business, Here's Why...
I can sit and tell you all the great benefits of offering flextime to workers. But, I think it's much better if you hear it first-hand from Nick himself.
Here's what he had to say:
Nick, why is flextime vital to being a young sports broadcaster?
Sports broadcasting by nature has a volatile schedule. In addition to the uneven dispersal of hours required, it isn't a well-paying job until you reach the highest levels. If you don't have the opportunity to work for a team full-time, you need additional income to stay afloat. Not to mention, you need the right skills to hack it in the real world in case broadcasting doesn't pan out. However, it's not always easy to get a job outside of the sports world that will allow the flexibility necessary to pursue the dream.
Unlike many of the other dedicated sports broadcasters out there (especially, younger ones), I'm lucky to have another job that is both flexible and brings home a decent paycheck. I can actually develop as a professional outside of the booth, instead of being stuck in a dead-end job. I know that whenever I've called my last game (whether that's in two years or 20), I can be prepared for a sustainable career. It certainly won't hurt that I'll already know what type of workplace environment to look for either.
How does flextime work for you?
Since I leave early on Fridays, I have to make the time up somewhere. I come in early on other days and stay late too, but I don't feel any less productive or happy during the long days. The "short" days are a nice break hours-wise, and they allow me to focus even more on providing value at work before my week is over. It's like training for a marathon by having some workouts with long runs, and others with sprints. Nobody runs 26 miles every day leading up to the race.
Why is it important that the culture (and fellow co-workers!) support your use of flextime?
Working at a company that allows flex time gives me the assurance that I can have a side job that keeps me happy and have a stable paycheck to go with it. I don't think it's a coincidence that I enjoy my full-time job even more than I originally expected, because flex time is one of the many arrows in my boss' quiver that creates a great work environment.
Knowing that my boss and co-workers are okay with (and even encourage) me using flextime makes it easier to feel comfortable in the office and get more work done. I don't waste any time when I'm in, because I know that the biggest worry in my career (my pay) is taken care of. That takes the pressure off when I'm in the booth, which makes it easier to be the best broadcaster I can be.
Nick has been a great addition to our team.
As a manager, do I worry that he might eventually leave us?
No, because I expect it. Every job is temporary. I can't worry about the future. At least right now, I get a hard-working, passionate employee who is grateful for his job. As an employer, that's the best you can hope for.
What's your experience with flextime? Does your company offer it as a benefit? If so, how are you using it to be a happier, more productive contributor to your company?