Flexible working hours. Russian experience

    Hello, Habr!

    We are engaged in HR in IT, with a slight bias in the economy and organization of labor. We come up with approaches, tools and the first experiments we set for ourselves.

    We are interested in the topics of operational efficiency, improving profitability and other pleasant things in areas where a product or service is created by intelligence.

    Sometimes the possibilities for solving this type of problem lie in the field of simply creating optimal conditions for work and minimizing the factors that interfere with it.
    Below is one such example.

    The story about the schedule. Management and control.
    Venue: Moscow and Kiev. Distributed team.
    Intellectual work. Self-supporting commercial company.
    Duration of the experiment: approximately 6 years.

    Details under the cut.

    Background and problems to be solved


    1. Hard traffic on the roads and metro of Moscow, if you work according to the standard: from 9 to 18.
    2. And the accompanying transport fatigue.
    3. The desire to partially comply with the biorhythms of employees. This is about “owls”, “larks” and “pigeons”.
    4. The desire to meet customer biorhythms. They also have different daily activities.
    5. Achieving greater flexibility when working with different time zones (the usual difference for us: plus or minus 2-3 hours from Moscow time).

    Description of the solution (last revised)


    We set the following schedule.

    Start of work: from 8 to 10 in the morning. By choice, and the choice can be changed at any time.

    Lunch from 12 to 14 hours. By mood and appetite.

    Mandatory periods of presence at the workplace: from 10 to 12 and from 14 to 16 hours.

    Thus, at least 50% of the working time is allocated to teamwork, formal and non-formal meetings, etc. With rare exceptions - this was enough.

    Tardiness, that is, arrivals after 10 am and - from lunch after 2 pm - are punishable.

    About punishment


    Have you ever had to run into meetings when it has already begun, when everyone is waiting for you, when you understand that you are completely wrong?

    And how do you feel when the boss obviously does not want to listen to the story of a stuck bus? When scolding from the side - brings relief from their own torment of conscience?

    Total: lateness is punished by itself, or - if necessary - by the team.

    Incidentally, I am not sure of the humanity of this approach. But - as it is.

    All. The rules end there.

    However, an attentive reader will ask: what about the end of the working day?

    And the nightly nightmare will appear to experienced people: when you need to spend time until the bosses leave. And so every day. And you don’t plan anything. And we need to ask ourselves, as it were, for a long time when the evening and day had ended, and so on. True?

    Answer: nothing.

    At 16 o’clock you can go home. Gather, get up and go.
    The leadership left before 5 p.m. - and there was no one to control anyway.
    No need to hatch. He did as he saw fit - go home.

    In fact, I do not know who and when is leaving.

    Separate addition about Friday


    On Friday, employees want to "complete all the work." And this is not a very correct desire. Because it turns out badly. Cases are not completed - often they are "killed" or extorted. The "tortured" business does not benefit either the employee or the company.
    A classic example is a “phoned customer”.

    On Friday, it’s normal to take stock of what has been done, rejoice yourself and start the weekend.

    Therefore, on Friday, I had to consciously and purposefully make efforts to timely terminate staff workweek.

    Schedule Monitoring


    Lyrical digression.

    At the beginning of the zero, when SKUDs appeared, I had a chance to “get over” the control of working imputation schedules, when data are pumped out weekly, poured into summary tables and sent to line managers with a request to explain “the absence of an X employee, between and on such and such date. "

    And then I came to visit a Swiss IT company, which also had access control systems and cards, and I asked:
    “And how do you control and process deviations from a given work schedule?”

    Then this question seemed very clever to me.
    They looked at me like an idiot. And they slowly and articulate answered:

    - ACS is needed in order to prevent outsiders from entering the office, and not for the sake of controlling its own personnel.

    In general, then I realized that I didn’t understand something.

    By the way, in the Skolkovo Technopark, ACS works just like that (as of March 2019), controls access, without control.

    In another very large and respected Russian IT company, access control data is available to the employee in a processed form. And what to do with them, how to react is up to him to decide.



    Let us return to the topic “Control of work schedules”.

    As it is already clear: there is ACS, cards - there, control - no.
    Only the educational power of the team.

    Understanding the categorical nature of the described approach, I believe the need to clarify some details.

    Necessary clarifications


    1. This is a team that creates intellectual services, which is in a constant and intense creative process.
    2. Monitoring of working time is necessary to identify cases when an X employee begins to spend more than 50-60 hours a week at work. This is a clear sign of approaching burnout.
    3. Monitoring of working time is necessary to identify cases when a new employee begins to spend more than 50-60 hours per week at work. This is a clear sign of his maladaptation in a team with a high prognosis of not successfully passing the probationary period.
    4. 4. We do not have enough data on the effectiveness of the application of the above approach in relation to employees working remotely.

    Last thing. About the future


    When you see a crowd of people entering the entrance at 8-45 in the morning, it does not matter which organization, and the same crowd leaving it at 18-05 - you should know that it is these people who are in service who will soon be replaced by robots, because their algorithm is simple.
    IMHO.

    This was the second article about happiness in work and the “fifth paradigm”.

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