Posts Tagged ‘work hours’

Will Employees Be Working for Free on Leap Day?

Thursday, February 25th, 2016

February-29While February is known for its famously short 28 days, every four years the month extends itself an extra day on the 29th of February. This year, this extra day will fall next Monday. While many employees may wish for a Leap Day Holiday off of work, most will still make their way to the office. But the question remains: Is Leap Day good or bad for employees? Well, that may depend on who you’re asking.

For hourly, non-exempt workers, coming into work on Leap Day may be a welcome occurrence: their employers will pay them for hours worked, and if they work an extra day this year, that’s roughly eight more hours of paid work on their paychecks this year than in a non-Leap Year.

Sounds like a win-win, right? Well, for salaried, exempt employees, the situation might be a little different.

If salaried workers earn a set amount each year irrespective of hours worked, yet there’s one extra day of work this year, does that mean they are working for free on Leap Day? The answer to this question can be puzzling, and it turns out even employment experts cannot come to a general consensus on the issue.

Daniel Schwartz, an employment attorney, believes employers could be getting a day’s worth of work for free from their employers.

“For the extra day, the employer really isn’t paying anything more for an exempt worker. The annual salary is just that, and the paychecks just reflect the portion of the year. Many employers thus get a ‘free’ day of work from exempt workers because they are not paying anything more than in non-Leap Years,” he wrote on the Connecticut Employment Law Blog.

Frank Heinz, a reporter from NBC, begs to differ.

“The short answer is no, you aren’t working for free on Leap Day … you’re just working for less than normal,” Heinz writes.

“Let’s assume you make $50,000 per year in a non-Leap Year.  If we take that salary and divide it by the 261 work days, that breaks down to $191.57 gross income, per day,” he goes on to explain. “During a Leap Year, with 262 work days, that breaks down to $190.84 gross income, per day.  That means during a Leap Year you will make .73 cents less per day in order to fund your salary on Feb. 29.”

But what the issue really may come down to is how your company’s pay schedule is set up.

A typical year will have 52 weeks plus one day, but a Leap Year has 52 weeks plus two days.  If your company’s designated payday falls on this extra day, it could mean an additional paycheck for your employees.

More than likely, employers will build this extra day into the yearly salary, and reduce a worker’s paycheck installment in order to make it all come out even at the end of the year.

However your business structures its payroll, whether it’s through weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly installments, it is imperative for HR professionals to take the time to examine whether their employees’ pay will be affected by the upcoming Leap Day.

If you find that it will alter your pay structure, be prepared to discuss the issue and how your business will respond with your employees. It is, after all, their right to know how their pay could be affected.

For any further questions on how Leap Day might affect your payroll, don’t hesitate to give our Advice & Resolution team a ring at 919-878-9222 or 336-668-7746. Have a Happy Leap Day everyone!

Create a Flexible Work Environment With These 6 Tips

Thursday, October 1st, 2015
Molly Hegeman, VP of HR Services

Molly Hegeman, VP of HR Services

In today’s post Molly Hegeman, CAI’s Vice President of  HR Services, shares helpful strategies for companies looking to offer more flexible scheduling to its employees.

When CAI first surveyed about flexible schedules in 2012, 48% of companies responded that they offered some form alternative work schedules.  In the 2014 NC Policies and Benefits Survey, that number had grown to 52%. In a recent discussion that I had with a group of HR professionals in Jacksonville, NC, this market trend got a lot of interest. Alternative work arrangements are definitely gaining popularity with employees, as evidenced by feedback in the Employee Opinion Surveys that CAI conducts.  All levels and types of employees are voicing a greater interest in flexibility with their hours, the work environment, etc.

With the convenience of mobile and wireless devices, many employees can work nearly 24/7. It seems only right that we should recognize the efforts of employees who check and respond to emails, complete a project after hours, etc. by giving them flexibility with their time.  So, what does that mean for employers?  More specifically, how do you make it work, especially in traditional organizations?

It used to be that companies would only allow a policy to exist if it affected all employees. I don’t think that’s practical anymore. Now don’t get me wrong, I believe all employees should be treated fairly. But fairly does not mean equal in all situations. For example, you may be able to offer a work from home schedule to an employee whose work is fairly independent and not contingent upon physically being in the office. That may not be practical, however, for the receptionist whose main job function is physically greeting customers/clients. It’s probably not reasonable for the organization to set up a virtual/Skype situation.  But, that employee could be afforded the option of a modified work shift and/or remote phone coverage (leaving only limited in person reception duties to be rearranged when needed).

So what’s an organization to do when it hasn’t previously offered flexible scheduling or remote work arrangements?

  1. Understand the options like flex time (schedule-based: compressed work week, flex hours, etc.) and flex location (location-based: telework, working remote).
  2. Consider why you would introduce flex work arrangements and what problem you are trying to solve (downsizing office space, employee morale, etc.).
  3. Ensure your management team supports schedule and/or location-based flex arrangements
  4. Define eligibility and the business situations that support the flex arrangements (even if you start in selected departments within your organization)
  5. Establish guidelines and procedures for your employees and managers to follow
  6. Continuously evaluate the flex arrangements and impact on employees, morale, productivity, business needs, etc.

In a world where there are competing interests and demands on all of us, why not consider the opportunity to help support your employees’ work-life effectiveness?  Whether you introduce small changes or a full program, the positive reaction and response from your employees (and managers) will be returned ten-fold. Flex work arrangements are a great strategy in attracting, retaining and motivating your workforce!

Want more information on our survey findings? Need help creating or updating your flexible schedule policy? Feel free to contact me, Molly Hegeman, directly at (919) 713-5263 or molly.hegeman@capital.org.

Is the Nine to Five Dying?

Tuesday, September 8th, 2015

recruitingIs the traditional nine-to-five work schedule a thing of the past? It appears a lot of workers seem to think so.  A recent CareerBuilder survey of more than 1,000 IT, financial services, sales, and business workers reveals 63 percent of workers believe the traditional nine-to-five model is an “outdated concept.”

The survey, which was conducted online by Harris Poll from May 14 to June 3, shows how a large share of today’s workers are operating under a much more flexible work schedule than in the past.

And while many bosses may fear the loss of the traditional work frame, they need not panic just yet. While it is true that many employees no longer see the point of coming into the office five days a week, that doesn’t necessarily mean employees have lost interest in their work.

“With improvements in technology that enable employees to check in at any time, from anywhere, it makes sense to allow employees to work outside the traditional nine-to-five schedule,” said Rosemary Haefner, Chief HR Officer of CareerBuilder.

With this ability to access their work documents, calendars, and emails remotely, many of today’s workers see little to no point in sitting behind an office desk to complete their work.

In fact, 50 percent of those surveyed say they “check or respond to work emails outside of work” and nearly 40 percent say they continue to work outside of office hours.

While businesses obviously cannot allow the nine-to-five model to dissolve completely, this growing trend reflects the clear need for more flexibility within employees’ schedules.

“Moving away from a nine-to-five work week may not be possible for some companies (yet), but if done right, allowing employees more freedom and flexibility with their schedules can boost productivity,” said Haefner.

While the long-term effects of moving away from the traditional workweek remain to be seen, there does seem to be an attractive set of benefits to offering employees greater workplace flexibility:

  • Improved sense of loyalty: Employees are likely to be more attached and committed to a workplace that takes their needs for flexibility into consideration, thus resulting in
  • Greater retention: Employees will be more likely to stay in their positions if they feel content and satisfied with the work schedule
  • Heightened morale: Employees will feel more engaged and fulfilled with their work when they are working with a schedule that best suits their needs
  • Around the clock inspiration: Rather than having an employee simply turn “off” of work at 5 o’clock, giving your employees a flexible schedule will allow them to remain open to new ideas and inspiration at all hours of the day.

The nine-to-five isn’t going to disappear any time soon, but it will likely begin to change little by little to match today’s changing technological landscape. The CareerBuilder survey is beginning to show us those little changes, and businesses need to be prepared to adapt to meet them.  With the popularity of the traditional workweek waning and the benefits of workplace flexibility becoming more apparent, businesses may need to “get with the times” before losing out on top talent to more accommodating firms.

If you have any questions about how you can create a more flexible workplace within your company, please call our Advice and Resolution team today at 919-878-9222 or 336-668-7746.