How a flex-time program at MIT improved productivity, resilience, and trust – Peter Hirst

MIT Sloan Executive Director of Executive Education Peter Hirst

MIT Sloan Associate Dean of Executive Education Peter Hirst

From Harvard Business Review

In today’s increasingly competitive hiring market, organizations need to think differently about how to attract new employees and retain existing ones. Unfortunately, many of the obvious solutions require a financial investment: increasing salaries, bonuses, medical benefits, or vacation days. And if your “competitive advantage” in hiring simply boils down to throwing money at the problem, your hires are quite possibly going to jump ship when a higher offer or benefits package is put in front of them.

So how can an organization increase its benefits without increasing its budget? Many startups will look to add “fun” into the mix — pool tables, nerf guns, pizza Fridays, and happy hours. But that won’t necessarily appeal to all types of employees, and it may not be a sustainable option. Here at the Executive Education program at MIT Sloan School of Management, we took a different approach: introducing flex time.

Working directly with our human resources department, we launched a remote work pilot for our team of 35 employees. The program has several key principles:

  • Everyone is encouraged to work remotely at least two to three days per week
  • Wednesdays are our “work in the office if you physically can” days
  • You don’t need to work a strict 9-to-5 schedule, but be mindful of regular business hours and don’t expect others to match your unique working hours
  • Don’t feel that you need to be connected 24/7

 

Read the full post at Harvard Business Review.

Peter Hirst leads the team of professionals who partner with clients and faculty at the MIT Sloan School of Management to develop, design, and deliver innovative executive education programs for individuals and companies.

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