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Hours - (IT Scheduling)

By istreamkc ·
I have a staff of three (plus myself) in a small software company. I have always set the hours for the technicians, balancing their preferences with our needs. I have a new tech that is requesting different hours on Tues and Thurs than the other work days. I have suggested that it would be best to have the same hours every day, but I also want to be as flexible as possible. Critical support hours are being covered, but I don't want to start a scenario where the other techs ask for equally changing hours to the point that i don't know who is supposed to be in at any given time.

Be flexible or crack the whip?

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If the staff is that small

by maecuff In reply to Hours - (IT Scheduling)

it shouldn't be hard to keep track. I am flexible when it comes to my employees hours. (10 people including me). When we have to work late, or on weekends, or get called in for whatever reason, I find my staff to be more than accommodating. I believe they are more willing to put the time in when needed because I accommodate them elsewhere. As long as they put in the expected number of hours each week and we have coverage here when the rest of the company expects us, I have no problem with flex time.

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Flextime is the key

by Jcritch In reply to If the staff is that smal ...

I firmly believe flextime is a valuable tool whenever a reasonable request is furnished. You also need to let the other staff members know you have granted this request so they understand that a you have considered this request within a set of parameters.

Some may not like the "special treatment" but others may feel comfort knowing if they have a special need you will consider it.

You may want to check with your H/R dept and upper management to verify they will allow you this flex-benefit. In a union situation, this could be a issue, granting professionals special benefits could be a point on future contract negotiations.

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by droll In reply to If the staff is that smal ...

With such a small staff, you will be better off working with the individual and letting them be flexible. The key for IT is to be there when it counts, and that often requires weekends, late nights etc. As long as the individual agrees and 'plays the game' I would be willing to bend regular hours. The rest of the department/staff might appreciate it as well - as long as it is not abused.

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Talent War

by IanR41 In reply to If the staff is that smal ...

The war for Talent is becoming pretty extreme. If you want the best talent you have to understand their viewpoint about working hours, and be flexible. You seem to be holding a line for the sake of conformity. You will find that more and more workers will work in virtual teams, and if you provide sufficient guidance, and they have sufficient maturity, it is a win:win. For example, I live and work in Australia. My boss lives in the UK and we both work for a Dutch company. I see him a couple of times a year. But meanwhile, email, phone, and the power of collaborative tools provides the glue that holds this together. I guess at the end of the day what makes it work for us is that we love our jobs, and are mature enough to know what is expected viz a viz deadlines, quality, etc.

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Set some guidelines

by Pheck In reply to If the staff is that smal ...

How about working through the options that you can offer to the team, discuss it with them as a team and then work out the agreed parameters. If you are going to offer flexibility to one person in the team there would be a reasonable expectation that other members should be able to enjoy the same flexability should they choose to. It's you responsibility to set the boundaries and ensure that everyone undertands the rationale. If you can meet their needs, show empathetic leadership, set the guidelines and devolve the responsibility back to the team to make the right choice then you will end up with a stonger, better working team.

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How different and why?

by amcol In reply to Hours - (IT Scheduling)

Nothing wrong with being flexible as long as you're not bending over so far backward you break.

If this is a frivolous request (I need to come in late on Tuesdays because I have to catch my favorite soap and I need to leave early on Thursdays to make my bowling league) then the answer is no. If the person in question is a parent and has childcare related issues, and if accommodating the request doesn't impact business requirements, then it's fine.

You're not setting a precedent, not unless you allow it to be one. You're granting a reasonable request for a compelling personal reason that doesn't affect the ability to discharge job responsibilities. Don't allow your other staffers to guilt you into doing the same for them simply because you did it for another, and don't let this appear to be any form of playing favorites. It's a business decision made by a business person for business reasons.

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by The Admiral In reply to How different and why?

Hey - I am on a bowling league and come in early and leave early to get to the lanes on time. I do not see this as a frivolous request.

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same here..sorta

by Tink! In reply to

My hubby is on 2 leagues. I've had my hours adjusted so I can get him there on time. What makes it non-frivolous is that these hours stay the same throughout the year..even after bowling season is over. I don't flip-flop the hours and if your employee keeps those requested hours steady, than I don't think it should be a bad accommodation. It's when they constantly request different hours that it gets frivolous.

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by amcol In reply to same here..sorta

If either of you came to me with a request to modify your working hours to accommodate an off hours hobby, the only way I'd acquiesce is if we were talking about leaving no more than an hour early maybe one day a week only. That's not unreasonable and shouldn't have any impact on your ability to perform your jobs. Beyond that my response would be the title of this post.

I've been in enough bowling leagues myself to know that evening adult leagues set their starting times to accommodate working hours and dinner. There's no reason for anyone to have to take off a significant amount of time for such an activity.

You'd also be sending me a very bad message as to the upper limit of your work ethic, and I say that as a manager who's extremely aware of the importance of work/life balance. In addition, by asking me to consent to your request you're setting me up to have to do the same for everyone else, which increases my administrative workload. At least if you were asking on the basis of something you couldn't help, like a day care commitment or something like that, I'd have the ability to reject other requests made for less imperative reasons.

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No Blood, No Foul

by Wayne M. In reply to Sorry

Just because one has the authority to specify work hours does not imply there is any benefit to doing so.

Treat your staff as professionals and let them manager their own time. Getting caught up in approving and disapproving requests is what is time consuming. Delegate time management responsibilities to your staff and only step in when needed to resolve an issue.

Remember, the work effort of a staff member is better reflected by how he accepts the responsility for his own time rather than just doing exactly as he is told. Unless there is a problem, assume there won't be one.

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