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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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I completely disagree

by zaferus In reply to Also, don't worry about t ...

This kind of "what happens with Jim is between (me) and Jim" response could lead to questions of favoritism in the workplace. Even with only 3 people the other 2 could wonder what is up with that kind of attitude. I believe this type of management is short sighted.

If you go into "negotiations" with each employee one on one you'll only create a make work project for yourself where in the end no one will be happy (especially if they compare notes on what they "got").

If you do give this employee flex hours - make sure you meet with your team and discuss your decision and how it is going to affect the team. If you make this about one person you risk hurting your team dynamic.

If you have a decision to accomodate flex time and lay down ground rules for it up front (such as coverage, on call, schedule conflicts, etc) then everyone should be well aware of expectations and what they can and cannot do.

If your team is mature and responsible this could be a positive thing for everyone.


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Define Manageable Flexible Working Hours

by lums99 In reply to Hours - (IT Scheduling)

Most of the times flexible working hours is not a luxury but a genuine requirement. However they some time might become impractical if the actual practice does not align with the business requirements. Challenge is then to define an SOP that can accommodate flexi hours while making sure that these do not have any negative effect on the business. In your case the SOPs can be something like:

Lets assume that your working hours are 9:00 to 5:00 with 1 hour of flexibility on both ends.

1. Core Hours (10:00 to 4:00): Everyone has to be present no exceptions.
2. Flexi Hours Morning: Maximum late hours per week should not exceed 3.
3. Flexi Hours Evening: Maximum early hours per week should not exceed 3.
4. Total working hours per week should be at least 35.
5. Assign duties so that at least one person will be required to come at 9:00 each day.
6. Assign duties so that at least one person will be required to remain in office till 5:00 each day.

Rules number 5 and 6 are optional and they something like doctors do in an emergency ward.

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by pete1978 In reply to Hours - (IT Scheduling)

Sounds like you've answered your own question. You stated, "I have always set the hours for the technicians, balancing their preferences with our needs." I don't see how this situation is any different. If the tech has a good reason for the varied hours, and the schedule is not counterproductive to the organization, then you've already set the precidence of flexing to meet the technician's needs. Since that is the case, you should flex.

But, another thing to consider is organizational policy. If the organization has a policy one way or the other, you must follow. So, for example, if the organization has a policy that an employee must work the same hours everyday, you have no choice but to force the tech to select either the MWF hours or the TTH hours five days a week. Whatever you do, don't go against organization policy.

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Hours - (IT Scheduling)

by sysplex_ibm In reply to Hours - (IT Scheduling)


I'm not quite sure about how you'd take this, but this is all what I've got to say. It's quite OK to be flexible with your staff under exceptional circumstances(they may not become common, I mean the exceptions), but as a professional(I mean your tech guys) one should always maintain regular technical responsibilities during stipulated time periods. Flexibility issues WRT official timings are common in entertainment field but not to technical professionals. The word professional is meant for a person who is expected to shoulder certain responsibilities, at least during official timings. In my opinion, if one guy(inspite of being brilliant) disrupts the regularity, it is better to do away with rather than perish with sparklers in hand.

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Ask some questions.

by royce In reply to Hours - (IT Scheduling)

I managed a small tech company for years and letting the employee pick their start/stop time worked very well for us. But they did have the same start/stop time every day. (Changes were allowed but they had to ask in advance and make certain critical needs were covered.) The net result was we were covered 12 hours a day and never had overtime. Our customers liked the extended hours. My employees liked it. And scheduling was never a hassle. I had excellent, responsible techs. Sometimes I needed someone to change their schedule for a day but I never had a problem getting someone willing to do so.

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Something to consider

by mdewind In reply to Hours - (IT Scheduling)

I provide my technicians with the opportunity to significantly alter their schedules once a month. I provide the guidelines for coverage, the critical staffing areas and any known upgrades and events (new locations, system maintenance, etc). They furnish their proposed schedule and I put it together and hang it in a central location for easy reference. They are responsible for arriving to work when scheduled. The flexibility has helped to improve morale and enabled several employees to return to school.

Check with your payroll, legal and employee services departments to ensure that this method complies with your companyt policies and the fair labor standards act (FLSA).

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Democratic Leadership

by aalcausin In reply to Hours - (IT Scheduling)

Share the problem with your staff, they're not too many to accommodate possible future needs within the flexibility for the group without interfering with the work for the whole team.

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by darinhamer In reply to Democratic Leadership

First of all, you've already recognized that your other staff have an interest in the hours this person works. Acknowledge that by bringing them in on the decision.

Secondly, you want to develop positive team dynamics. I suppose if everyone on the team is obstinate it could backfire on you, but if the other people on the team hear the need and are willing to accommodate that need, then this can be positive for the team. They can watch each others' backs. And if there is some obstinance on the team, you can facilitate the discussion and let them know that you expect them to help each other out.

It is possible that one person could take advantage of the rest of the team, but empower the team to not let this happen. If this happens, then they can come to you and ask to have the flex time revoked.

I see this as a win-win situation. If the team is going to be impacted by the person's flex time, then by letting them make the decision, they have immediate buy-in. The team is stronger. And there are fewer headaces for you as a manager. Let them monitor each other and if someone is sluffing, you'll hear about it.

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Should and Necessary

by OscarO In reply to Hours - (IT Scheduling)

In order to provide better service to users different hours are necessary. Floating hours will work if all is properly planned.

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by hoharrow In reply to Hours - (IT Scheduling)

Keeping track of things and accountability are key. My staff work fairly set hours but are staggered from each other. They email me twice per year with their REQUESTED work hours.

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