What it measures
A flexible schedule allows workers to determine when they begin and end their workday. The employer expects the employee to work a specific number of hours, but the worker has some control over the timing of the workday. This allows people to more optimally schedule work activities along with other responsibilities and activities that are important to their lives. Employees may be asked to flex around a “core” workday. That means they have to be present during a specific portion of the workday, e.g., 10am-3pm, but may choose to work 7am-3pm or 10am-6pm instead of a more standard 9am-5pm schedule. A flexible work schedule is sometimes referred to employee-initiated flexibility. It differs from employer-initiated flexibility, where workers are required to be available, often at short notice, in order to meet the immediate needs of the employer.
Why this matters
Employee-initiated flexible scheduling does not reduce the number of hours required for work, but it does allow people a greater sense of control over how they use their time. People with flexible work hours report greater life satisfaction and job satisfaction, a stronger sense of work-life balance, and reduced levels of time pressure.