Flexitime - Definition, Pros & Cons

In the work arrangement of flexitime, employees have the flexibility to structure their daily working hours, often in alignment with their individual private commitments and productivity patterns. We will explain the advantages and challenges associated with flexitime, how to manage overtime, and the legal conditions that should be in place.


Key Facts

  • Flexitime has implications for work-life balance, employee satisfaction, productivity, and employer attractiveness.
  • Different examples of flexitime include models with fixed core working hours, the use of a flexitime account, or fixed block times.
  • It is crucial to establish clear legal frameworks for overtime.

Flexitime - a Definition

Flexitime allows employees to flexibly organize their working hours by determining the start and end of their workday themselves. This individual freedom allows for better alignment of professional commitments and personal needs. Whether an early riser or a night owl, flexitime accommodates different life and work rhythms.

Advantages of Flexitime

The introduction of flexitime models in companies has gained significance in recent years and offers numerous advantages for both employers and employees.

Work-Life Balance

Balancing private and work life is crucial for the well-being of employees. Flexitime allows for a healthy combination of family obligations, personal interests, and professional demands. The improved balance between work and personal life enhances employee satisfaction, as they can use their time more effectively and are less exposed to the stress of traditional working time models.

Work-Life Balance - A Myth?

The concept of work-life balance is a central theme in today's society. In a world characterized by constant connectivity, growing work demands, and increasing digital interconnectedness, the question of achieving a balanced relationship between work and personal life naturally increases.

Work life balance

Productivity and Engagement

It may seem surprising, but flexitime can also enhance productivity. The ability to adjust working hours to individual productivity cycles promotes a more efficient use of work time. Employees who can determine their own working hours often show higher engagement and improved willingness to perform.

Attractiveness as an Employer

Flexitime becomes a crucial factor in the competition for qualified professionals. Companies offering flexible working hour models position themselves as modern employers who understand and value the needs of their employees. This enhances the attractiveness of the company in the job market and facilitates the recruitment of highly qualified talents.

Challenges and Solutions

Despite the obvious benefits, the introduction of flexitime comes with challenges. Coordinating team activities and ensuring accessibility can lead to organizational issues. Clear communication, transparent guidelines, and the use of modern technologies are key aspects to overcome potential difficulties and effectively utilize flexitime.

Flexitime Models Examples

There are various flexitime models that can be tailored to the needs of companies and employees. Here are some common models with examples.

Flexitime within Fixed Core Working Hours

Employees have the freedom to flexibly organize their working hours but must be present during specific core working hours.

Example: A company sets core working hours from 10:00 to 15:00. Employees can choose flexible start and end times as long as they are present during these core hours.

Flexitime with Flexitime Account

Employees have a time account where plus and minus hours are accumulated. They can accrue overtime and take compensatory time off as needed.

Example: An employee works more hours than planned in a week, accumulating overtime on their flexitime account. In the next week, they can use these overtime hours to leave early or take a day off.

Trust-Based Working Hours

This model has no fixed working hours, but instead trusts in the self-responsibility of employees to organize their working hours.

Example: Employees have clear goals and tasks but can flexibly plan and organize their working hours as long as the goals are achieved.

Flexitime with Fixed Block Times

Employees can flexibly organize their working hours, but there are fixed block times when everyone must be present (e.g., for meetings or team collaborations).

Example: Employees can choose their working hours between 7:00 and 19:00 flexibly, but they must be present during block times from 9:00 to 12:00 and from 14:00 to 16:00.

Annual Working Hour Model

Similar to flexitime with a flexitime account, but the working hours are considered over a longer period, typically a year, allowing for balancing fluctuations.

Example: An employee works more hours during the high season and has shorter working hours during the low season, balancing the total working hours over the year.


The Working Hours Law (ArbZG) serves to protect the health and safety of employees. Here you will find answers to their questions.


Flexitime and Overtime

In flexitime models, overtime can play a significant role. Overtime occurs when employees work more hours than specified in their agreed regular working hours. These extra hours can be accumulated in a flexitime account, allowing employees to create a balance for additional hours worked.

The compensation may involve employees working fewer hours during quieter times or taking days off to reduce their accumulated overtime. This provides employees with flexibility in using their overtime, and it enables the company to better respond to seasonal fluctuations or project-related workloads.

However, it is crucial to handle overtime and its utilization transparently and in accordance with company policies to ensure fair and balanced working hour arrangements.

Flexitime in Labor Law

According to labor law, certain conditions must be considered when implementing flexitime, such as compliance with legal maximum working hours and break regulations. Overall, a clear framework regarding core working hours, attendance requirements, and the recording of overtime is crucial to the success of such a working model.

Labor law dictates that overtime compensation should occur in an appropriate manner, ensuring, for example, compensatory time off or fair remuneration. Transparent communication and involving employees in defining flexitime regulations are also important aspects for a legally sound and employee-friendly implementation.

Social Perspective

Flexitime not only reflects a shift in workplace culture but also has the potential to influence societal norms. The acceptance of flexible working time models contributes to challenging traditional notions of work and time, fostering a higher acceptance of new working models.


Flexitime is more than a flexible working hour arrangement. It represents a paradigm shift in how we perceive work. By creating individual freedom, promoting a balanced work-life equilibrium, enhancing employee satisfaction, and increasing attractiveness as an employer, flexitime becomes a key instrument in the modern working world. To fully harness its benefits, it's crucial to view flexitime not just as a working hour model but as an element of a contemporary and future-oriented corporate culture.

FAQ - Frequently asked questions at a glance

Flexitime allows for employees align their work schedules to their private one, thus contributing to enhanced overall well-being. It also increases the sense of individual responsibility among employees regarding their work schedules and enhance satisfaction and productivity.

However, it also comes with potential communication challenges, as the asynchronous working hours of employees make the overall coordination of teamwork more complex. And of course there is a risk of misuse, with some employees exploiting the flexibility, potentially leading to inequalities in workload distribution.

Overtime involves working additional hours beyond the regular schedule, often compensated with extra pay or time off. Flexitime on the other hand allows for flexible adjustment of daily working hours within a specified time frame. This can then lead to overtime, which needs to be regulated through a dedicated framework.

Flexitime with core working hours has employees present during a specific time span of the day, while still choosing start and end times within that period flexibly. Flexitime without core working hours offers complete flexibility without designated core working hours per day.


We would like to point out that our website provides non-binding information, which under no circumstances constitutes legal advice. This also, and especially, applies to topics within the sphere of legal HR advise. The content of this contribution cannot and is not intended to replace individual and binding legal advice. For this reason, all information provided is without guarantee of correctness and completeness, but always researched with the utmost care.

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