by Sarah J.F. Braley | October 01, 2005

illustrationAccording to the 2005 Benefits Survey conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management, 56 percent of organizations offer flextime, or flexible work hours, to their employees. An SHRM spokesperson adds that the benefit is becoming a very important recruiting and retention tool. These tips on how to shape a flexible workday come from the Alexandria, Va.-based society.

Do your research. Before approaching your manager with your request, learn the company’s policy. Is flextime even offered? Are there core hours, perhaps 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., during which employees are required to be in the office?

Don’t miss meetings. Be sure the hours you propose will not take you out of the office for regularly scheduled department meetings.

Set firm hours. Even if you only need to leave early every other Tuesday, make every Tuesday your flexible day for the sake of consistency (i.e., your boss will better remember when you’re available).

Consider computer needs. If you are allowed to combine some telecommuting with flextime, do you need to be networked to the company? Can you do off-line projects during that time?