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Quick post today because, well, it’s one of those days.

Flex time is just one component of work life balance. We will talk about the other components at a later date.

Flex time is just one component of work life balance. We will talk about the other components at a later date.

Today I want to talk about flex time.

1. Marissa Mayer got rid of it at Yahoo recently, calling its merits – at least at Yahoo – into question.This can include remote working, 1 a compressed work week (think a four day, ten hour week instead of a five day, eight hour week as an example), different start times (i.e. your boss letting you work 10 am to 7 pm even if office hours are 8 am to 5 pm), and for part-time employees can include options like job sharing.

2. Work life balance isn’t really new (though our fixation on it as a society has grown as of late). The concept has existed since the mid-1800s and the term has been in use since the 1970s. I’ve never read this book before, but you can apparently learn more from: Peter Burke (1995) The Invention of Leisure in Early Modern Europe, in Past and Present, no. 146 (Feb. 1995). If it turns out to be any good let me know. So lately this is becoming a thing. 2 Gen Y workers really want flexibility in the workplace, and there is some evidence that there is a move towards employers giving just that.

Young people want to have fun more than they want to maximize cash-flow. With defined benefit plans going the way of the dinosaur and social security underfunded I don't find this line of thinking advisable, personally.

Young people want to have fun more than they want to maximize cash-flow. With defined benefit plans going the way of the dinosaur and social security underfunded, however, I don’t find this line of thinking advisable.

3. This isn’t exactly true. My most productive hours are noon to midnight, and it requires an unbelievable force of will for me to get up for work at 7 am(ish). Flex hours just aren’t something I would consider as a deal breaker when looking at a company – and I certainly wouldn’t leave money on the table for them. I’ll get to this point in a minute, though.As a Gen Yer I personally don’t get the fuss. 3 A ten hour a day, four day work-week sounds awesome (some days I work ten plus hours anyway), but it has reached the point that young people entering the workforce today are more interested in flex time than they are in money. 4

I’ll be honest, I don’t get it – but I also recognize that from a plan design perspective that doesn’t matter. The data is what matters – and it appears to pretty compellingly suggest that (at least younger) employees want flexible hours.

4. It appears nowhere on that list – although to be fair the “opportunity” segment in that article is a very encouraging sign about the future – young people realize learning and development doesn’t stop when you clock out.The question for me isn’t if this is something companies should be offering to their work forces (they obviously should – although the form this takes will of course be company by company contextual and business dependent).

No… the question for me is if flex time (for full-time employees) is something that can be offered in lieu of other extrinsic rewards. As an employee would 5. Let’s be honest – it’s 45 minimum nowadays.you leave money on the table to work your 40 hours 5 when you want and where you want? If so, how much money would you give up? Why?

Share your thoughts below (or LinkedIn/e-mail since that seems to be preferred so far).

Best,

Rory

If you have questions about something you’ve read here (or simply want to connect) you can reach me at any of the following addresses: 

SomethingDifferentHR@gmail.com OR rorytrotter86@gmail.com

@RoryCTrotterJr

http://www.linkedin.com/in/roryctrotterjr

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