When you think of October, you probably think of falling leaves and Halloween. But October is also the month that hosts National Flex Day, a day created to motivate employers and employees to unite behind the need for more flexibility in the workplace. That day is today, October 20!
According to a recent article, eighty percent of respondents to a survey said that their managers and coworkers were comfortable with them using flextime. The same article states that fifty-two percent of companies nationwide offer the benefit, and the trend is expected to continue growing. As flextime becomes the norm, and since SHIFT has an excellent flextime program, we thought it would be a great idea to talk to some SHIFTers about how and why they flex.
Leah Ciappenelli, HR Director at SHIFT, was eager to talk about how SHIFT’s flex policies came to be and why she flexes. “The idea came from SHIFT being a place that believes deeply in work-life balance, and trying to truly provide an environment in which people could meet the many demands of life,” said Leah.
Leah went on to say that in 2013, SHIFT opened up flextime benefits to all employees, rather than limiting role or level. Under the policy, with manager’s approval, employees may work an alternate schedule other than the normal 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. schedule. The employee is still on the job for core workday hours, 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., and still works the same number of hours, but employees can choose their time and how they manage it within these guidelines.
SHIFT also has a telecommuting policy. It states that if an employee has worked at SHIFT for 3 months, has a suitable remote location, and has demonstrated a record of continued good performance, then they can work remotely. As long as the agreement meets the needs of the business and the employee comes in to the office when they need to be present, the employee can make full use of the policy.
“For the people who take advantage of the policy, it has tremendous benefits,” said Leah. “I started participating in the flextime policy almost a year ago. I currently, as a single mother, occasionally need to work from home. What it affords me is brain space in terms of demands outside of work. When I’m at home, I log in as early as 7:30 a.m., stay on as late as 6:00 p.m., and I’ve eliminated my commute for that day.”
Other SHIFTers from across the agency described how they benefit from SHIFT’s flex policies. Tyler Achilles, an Account Executive in SHIFT’s San Francisco office, says, “My team is spread across three different offices (Boston, Austin and San Francisco) and we’re all in different time zones. Most of my clients are located in different time zones as well. To offer the best client service and to make sure I’m always included in important meetings, I will sometimes use flextime. For example, on Monday morning I have a client call very early in the morning Pacific time, so I work from home and take the call there rather than coming into the office.” For Tyler, flextime gives him the opportunity to manage his time effectively and maintain a work-life balance.
Katie Lioy, Account Manager on the Marketing Technology Team at SHIFT Boston, echoes this sentiment. “I use flextime to keep a work-life balance. Flextime makes my commute more bearable and allows me to spend more time with my family. I live closer to the Rhode Island border, so getting into Newton adds up to a two or more hour ride during peak commuting times. Instead, I typically leave my house between 5:45 – 6:15 a.m. and get to work between 6:30 to 7:00 a.m. I also find that I’m more productive in the early morning when it’s quiet – as opposed to working later.”
Sarah Borup, a Senior Account Manager in the Boston office, had this to conclude. “As a manager, my priority is about making myself fully available to my team and clients – whenever and however they need me. The flex policy, and even more so the philosophy of our executive team, has allowed me to make more significant personal decisions – like buying a home 70 miles away – knowing I’d be able to create a new balance with the company’s support. SHIFT’s culture is collaborative at the most foundational levels and our leadership trusts us to do our jobs well.”
How does your company use flextime? Will you be celebrating National Flex Day? Leave a comment below!