The Downside of Flex Time

Synopsis of an Article from HBR by Maura Thomas, Published 14th May 2020

Maura Thomas is an award-winning international speaker and trainer on individual and corporate productivity, attention management and work-life balance.

Synopsis: Remote work in the current world (affected by the COVID-19 pandemic) naturally leads to flexi time. Different employees will get work done at different hours, some will need to work around having children at home others will work longer hours. The downside of the ‘always-on’ environment is that it drives burn out and once this way of working is established in company culture its very difficult to change and reset later on.

This article goes on to explain that you should ‘address the problem head-on’ make it clear on the workday expectations of employees and what is definitely not expected. Further provide clear guidelines about which communication channels to be used for which situations.

Email should never be used as a ‘synchronous’ communication channel, no one is capable of monitoring every message in real time and if they are doing that then, they are not focusing on the real work.

Technology can be used to advantage, most collaboration and communication tools have global policy settings that can be applied which can ensure a default time is set for do not disturb – forcing the sender to consider if this is setting the right example. It is also important for leaders to model the desired behaviour – you don’t want to end up with both an ‘official policy’ and ‘the way everyone actually behaves’.

Read the full article here

Leave a Reply