Flexi-time is all about balance, says human resources manager Janis Peterson. "It's part of employee wellness.  Employees tend to be more productive when they feel that their work fits in with their life."

Media24 change manager Jasmine Adams agrees that flexi-time can encourage higher productivity.

"We want to help to create a workplace that rewards performance and outputs, rather than 'clock-watchers'," says Adams. "This will help to create a workplace where people are more engaged, energized and work towards achieving our strategic objectives," she adds.

But, it may not work for everyone.

The ability to work flexi-hours depends on the role you fulfill within your company.

"For example,” notes Peterson, “if you work in a call centre, you would still need to be in the office during your core hours."

Peterson adds that some jobs or functions require equipment at an employee’s disposal: "… you cannot have laptops for every employee, so it depends on your accessibility."

Of course, the rise of the ‘virtual office’ has made it a lot easier for employees to remain productive.  Increased internet accessibility means that more employees are able to work away from the office while still managing to meet their day-to-day targets.

Company culture
For companies, flexi-time could be a useful tool for retaining employees.

According to Cathy Smith, HR director at IBM, flexi-time is "a very attractive differentiator for a company to offer its new recruits and to have as a retention tool."

For working mothers like Shamaa Sheik who is employed at Law24.co.za, flexibility is highly attractive.

"I found it so appealing and it is most pleasing to note that many of the larger corporates are warming up to the idea…. It allows for one to become a much more productive worker if managed well."

The verdict?
In essence, if more employees vie for flexible hours, then more employers are likely to implement it as part of their operations.

Most forward-thinking companies recognise that that they have to be agile enough to respond to their staff’s needs. The findings of a survey conducted by Robert Half International Inc showed, in fact, that employees would prefer ‘easier’ working times, over a higher salary.

Surprised? We’re not. Although… we do wonder about the following: How is performance monitored? Is communication not an issue?

Does your company have a flexi-time package? Do you think it helps keep employee balance the demands of work vs. life?