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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 like them

by techrepublic In reply to Hours - (IT Scheduling)

I found odd-hours people to be an asset to my team. At the end of the day, when most people are rushing off, the guy that starts late, is the guy covering the priority service request. Or they are helping to organise the types of things that are difficult to do when everyone is around, or are normally unwilling to do. Late guy sweeps the shop -- no brainer.

Also, i like a few part-time or "schedule unreliable" folks as well. I can increase the size of my team by 15% without actually having to pay for that many bodies. When work piles up, I use my "boss" status to lean on the flakes to put in more hours. When I am not busy and they miss work or parts of work, they are costing me nothing. I aslo save on workstations, cause I can cram 2 or 3 part-timers and flakes in one workstation with fewer overlaps.

So to me its all good. As a manager you build a mosaic out of all kinds of peices. Unusual situations challenge you to find a way to use them to advantage.


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Anyone for yoga?

by mandrake64 In reply to Hours - (IT Scheduling)

Speaking both from experience as a team member and a team leader, if you are in a role that requires you to support a customer's operations, then the customer is might appreciative of having people around at odd hours as long as the basic business hours are satisfied for face to face contact.
I have supported a steel manufacturing plant now since 1989 on an on call basis and enjoy it immensely. One factor that adds to the enjoyment is that the team itself is self organising.
We do not have to have a supervisor riding shotgun over the team members and policing a fixed working hour regime. The team itself works out the best way to cover the operations. If there is a need for face to face contact with customers at odd hours, like the middle of the night for some special production run then we reorganise.
However, some of us are enjoying working from home a couple of days a week and this also brings side benefits (such as reduced level of interuption while performing improvement or project work). The customer gets good support levels and effectively longer at work time from the spread of working hours in the team, our morale is high and the whole system of work is fun. Even call outs in the middle of the night can be fun if the method of recording detail is humourous.

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Flex, by all means

by AttackComputerWhiz In reply to Hours - (IT Scheduling)

I work for a large agency and I am the entire IT department at my remote location. Like another poster mentioned, I rarely see my management and communicate via phone and email.

I read all the commentary before posting my 2?, so now here it comes:

1) I am a flex-time worker (management calls it an "alternate works chedule) primarily due to my daughter's dance schedules. The agreement I have is that I must be here for at least some period during the five days of the standard work week (M-F) to make sure my tasks are completed. For me, that means long days for three days, one half day and one day where I only work 8 hours.

2) I am also a union shop steward, so the "professional" argument is a red herring to deny certain benefits (for those who suggested checking about union rules). Most unions have a flex-time clause in their contracts, so I don't see where that would be an issue. Besides, we are talking about a small company, which likely isn't a union shop.

3) Having a flexible schedule means that I am NOT taking leave to run to the doctor or to attend events at my daughter's school. I just adjust my time around those things and it does make it easier. I also find that I am here much more than if I had to sign for time off to take care of personal business.

4) I can telecommute at times, which also makes things easier. I also carry a company cell phone and can take calls while out, many times solving problems without having to actually go in and "lay hands" on equipment.

Basically, we all work hard and flex-time is a small way of recognizing our value. Personally, I find that I actually can work more than the prescribed 40 hours a week since I have the flexibility to set my schedule because I am not rushing to get somewhere else.

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Tricky Situation

by mickitodd In reply to Hours - (IT Scheduling)

You want to have a work environment that is comfortable, yet structured. Here is a possibility:

1. Develop a company hours policy that allows the worker to select a work schedule that does not impact productivity of the company. Maybe create a form that they fill out when they hire on and then annually thereafter. But they would be "locked in" to that schedule all year. They could ask permission for time off for special occasions.

2. Have a meeting with everyone and discuss the subject of flexible scheduling. Show current workers the new policy and ask them if they need different hours on certain days. Have them fill out the form etc.

If you allow the new hire to have flexible hours without at least making the offer to your other employees, could cause some resentment. "What makes this new guy so special?"


Tell the new hire that the hours are non-negotiable and let him make the choice whether or not he wants thejob.

Good LUck!

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