These days, companies of all sizes are offering flexible work schedules to allow parents more time to spend with their kids and adjust on-the-fly to unforeseen schedule changes. Flexible scheduling allows employees to adjust their work hours and days to accommodate their childcare needs. There are several ways to execute flexible scheduling at a low cost and using minimal resources.
No matter what type of flexible schedule you choose to offer, the immediate impact on culture will be felt throughout the organization. In addition, the long-term impact will be increased sustainability and viability. Before undertaking any changes, ensure you understand the impact on shipment requirements, safety regulations, optimal business hours, and other business-related factors.
What You Can Do
Assess your working families’ needs
Understand how childcare contributes to last-minute scheduling changes. Find out who your working families are and identify what data you need to gather and how to assess it. Talk to working parents directly to get their input. Consider different types of flexibility for other teams, as they may have varied needs and flexibility.
Talk to your operations team and line managers
Understand how last-minute childcare breakdowns impact business during high-needs shifts and what systems can be leveraged to facilitate flexible or predictive scheduling.
Find out where there is flexibility in the business
Communicate with line managers to determine what’s possible, then identify how and when flexibility could be utilized. Look for flexible options that you haven’t considered, including specific days, hours, time blocks, or predictive scheduling. Ask teams that have already instituted flexibility how their system might be scalable.
Implement and communicate
Once it’s determined how to introduce flexibility into shifts, create a plan to communicate these changes, starting at the leadership level and working toward employees.
Track the impact
Keep track of missed shifts due to childcare needs. Collect feedback from employees regularly to understand how flexibility changes are working. Consider coding shifts to track if/when working parents adjust schedules due to childcare needs.