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Flex-Washing: What It Is and How to Avoid It

Flex-Washing: What It Is and How to Avoid It

Many organizations are tackling the repercussions of the Great Resignation head-on by putting forth robust recruitment tactics to fill open positions on their team. Top recruitment tactics include more appealing benefit packages, higher base salaries, and flexible work schedules. 

These perks have become increasingly popular, and many organizations are using the term “flexibility” as a buzzword to attract candidates. When organizations make big promises about flexible work and don’t follow through, they risk high turnover and low employee trust. Here’s why “flex-washing” is on the rise and how your organization can avoid it through transparency and communication.


Different Types of Flexible Work Schedules

Flexible work schedules can mean different things to different organizations. Here are the various types of flexible work models organizations have started offering:

  • Remote: Remote work is one of the most common flexible work schedules due to the pandemic. Remote schedules allow employees to work from home fully and do not require them to come into the office. These work schedules have become so popular that some organizations have given up office leases.
  • Hybrid: Hybrid work models allow employees to work part-time from home and part-time in the office. Typically these are set up by allotting set “office days,” often either Tuesday/Thursday or Monday/Wednesday/Friday. Some organizations cap the number of days they want employees in the office and allow them the flexibility to choose which days.
  • Flexible work hours: Instead of deciding office vs. work-from-home days, some organizations offer flexibility by allowing employees to choose their work hours. Flexible work hours often accommodate a working parent, an employee who has a long commute, or other unique situations that require accommodations.
  • Condensed work week: Another flexible work option organizations offer employees is condensed work weeks. Some organizations provide four 10-hour days, “summer Fridays,” or “early leave Fridays.” 



What Is “Flex-Washing”?

The term “flex-washing” is a spin on “greenwashing,” which is used to describe organizations that market themselves as environmentally conscious and “green” without making any substantial efforts to be sustainable. Organizations that advertise flexible working schedules but don’t live up to their expectations are being accused of  “flex-washing,” a new trend.


How BerniePortal Can Help Avoid Flex-Washing

While “flex-washing” can be unintentional, taking measures to prevent your organization from falling into this category is crucial. BerniePortal’s all-in-one HRIS software helps organizations intentionally communicate with employees from the minute they enter your organization.

BerniePortal’s Applicant Tracking system is a customizable tool that helps organizations leverage their recruitment efforts. Job postings are an excellent place for an organization to be transparent about the work schedule they operate under, allowing candidates to have clear expectations. BerniePortal makes it easy to customize job descriptions, giving your organization confidence about communicating flexible work schedules upfront. 

While it goes without saying, it’s essential to ensure your organization is not only communicating your work schedule policy, but also sticking to your word to avoid “flex-washing.” An excellent way to hold your organization accountable is to create a clear-cut policy that is either included in the employee handbook or culture guide or posted where employees can refer to it anytime. 

BerniePortal’s Compliance feature helps streamline this process by being a digital hub for all compliance documents and requiring employees’ signature sign-offs for transparency. Putting your organization’s work schedule policy in an easily accessible place can hold you accountable and help you avoid falling short on promises.



Additional Resources

You can stay informed, educated, and up-to-date with important HR topics using BerniePortal’s comprehensive resources:

  • BerniePortal Blog—a one-stop-shop for HR industry news
  • HR Glossary—featuring the most common HR terms, acronyms, and compliance
  • HR Guides—essential pillars, covering an extensive list of comprehensive HR topics
  • BernieU—free online HR courses, approved for SHRM and HRCI recertification credit
  • HR Party of One—our popular YouTube series and podcast, covering emerging HR trends and enduring HR topics

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