Are companies ready to embrace flexi-time? | Jobs for Mums Malta

Katja Dingli Bennetti November 01, 2016

We talk about being part of a 21st century working environment where all over the globe flexi-time is at the forefront and brings a complete culture change to the traditional working patterns we are used to. While on the international front some of the world's most notable brands have embraced flexibility in their workplace and are now witnessing promising results, locally the culture shift has barely started which means that we're the ones who need to get the discussion going on all sorts of levels. So let's get the ball rolling, let's start the debate. Let's talk about flexi-time.

Understanding flexi-time

Definition - a system of working a set number of hours with the starting and finishing times chosen within agreed limits by the employee

Here's where we stand

Now contrary to what some of you might expect, here at JobsforMumsMalta we're advocates of flexitime for everyone, not just for mums. While undeniably, flexi-time will most definitely have a positive effective on the female participation work rate, from a gender equality point of view, the increased flexibility in working hours is also rated positively as more individualised working hours can help all employees to balance their work obligations and personal life. So flexi-time isn't just a debate for career women or working mums, it should be on everyone's agenda for it is really about the world's progress towards creating a family friendly labour market structure.    
 
21st century careers are all about enhancing work - life balance, bridging the game between management and employees, seeking understanding, celebrating flexibility, and strengthening the foundations of trust in a workplace culture. This is the revolution we should be experiencing.
 

The Flexi-Time dilemma

On one hand, brands want to attract the world's most talented individuals, on the other hand, employees crave flexibility and are demanding flexible working time schedules. Flexible working time schedules are more common in relatively highly skilled jobs and career climbers expect to be trusted for they consider themselves to be true professionals, experts in their respective field. Yet  the majority of companies are only ready to offer flexitime as a perk for individuals who have been working for their brand for a set number of years if and when this is requested, or when they know that they might lose their talent to a competitor. Therefore, flexible working time schedules are often considered as a reconciliation facility, rather than as a feature within a company's culture.
 
So the million euro question remains - Are local employers ready to take the plunge and say  goodbye to the traditional 9am - 5.00pm work day?
 

What employers should expect

Here are some findings from the European Commission's Report titled 'Flexible working time arrangements and gender equality' which shine a light on the advantages of flexi-time, mainly
 
  • Higher job satisfaction
  • Retaining of key employees
  • A better adaptation of working hours
  • Lower absenteeism  
  • A reduction of paid overtime.
 
Notwithstanding the results, employers still remain sceptic and a tad insecure for they fear that they will be taken for a ride, won't get their money's worth, will not be able to monitor performance and ultimately loose complete control.
 
Bottom line is if we want to keep up with the rest of the world we need to measure individuals by their productivity and not their office attendance. Thanks to the incredible advances of technology business leaders can manage and maintain full control over their flexi-time team members and monitor the quality of the work confidently, establish deadlines, roles, working hours and benchmarks, promote project based projects, supervise communication channels and above all trust that they are truly employing the finest talent around.
 
There are just some things we can’t continue to resist, flexi-time dear friends, is one of them.  
 
Does the company you work for have a flexi-time culture or is eager to incorporate flexi-time in 2017?  We'd love to feature your story and share your experience. Email us; info@jobsformumsmalta.com