We recognized that many of our employees were utilizing their time off, or in some cases taking time off with no pay, in order to manage their personal needs such as scheduling doctor appointments for themselves and their children, attending to the needs of their children such as illness, injuries, parent teacher conferences and school events, as well as attending to elderly parents; or simply taking care of life’s necessities that they could not do otherwise outside the normal workday. We found this was particularly impacting employees with children, single parents, and employees serving as caregivers to others. As such, we set out to identify a way to decrease absenteeism while providing flexibility and work/life balance for our workforce.
After careful consideration, Alliant implemented an Alternative Work Week (“AWW”) program in 2007 to allow team members to work a half day every other Friday. Our goal is to allow employees to benefit from this program and have the flexibility to manage and attend to appointments and matters that they could not otherwise handle on weekends.
Alliant observes a 7.5 hour workday, or 37.5 hour workweek which equates to 75 hours per pay period. Employees participating in the AWW program work 8 hours each day for 9 consecutive days (Monday-Friday of Week 1 and Monday-Thursday of Week 2) and work only 3 hours on the Friday of Week 2. This provides a 40 hour workweek during Week 1 and a 35 hour workweek for Week 2. It also avoids the daily overtime issue we might otherwise encounter in the California based offices.
As an alternative, many exempt level employees may choose a day each week to work from home since their hours are not tracked like they are for hourly employees.
The AWW program is not mandatory and is an opt-in program for employees who want or need this type of flexibility. While it was designed to assist a specific group of employees balance their personal and professional commitments, it is not limited to employees with children or those serving as caregivers.
Currently, Alliant has 318 participants in the Alternate Work Week Program. We have found that this program has helped our employees balance life’s demands. It has boosted morale and has decreased absenteeism.