Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The daily standup and flexible working hours

As mentioned in my post about The implicit bias with flexible working hours, I'm a fan of having a certain amount of flexibility in working hours.

Though some companies can be uber flexible and allow people to set their own hours, there are several limitations. The one I'm going to focus on today is with the daily standup meeting.

I'm going to assume that you're familiar with the daily standup meeting so I won't go into it in detail. In case you're not here's a great article about it. The Daily Scrum Meeting

The daily standup meeting happens every day at the same time, but if a team member turns up late then it isn't as effective. That team member won't hear what everyone else has done or will do, and won't provide that information to the team.

If the standup meeting time always changes to happen after all team members are in the office, the team is prone to forget to do it.

Naively in the past I've performed two standups, one with the team members that are there and one with the individual who comes in later. This is not a good idea and didn't really benefit anyone.

If you do allow employees to set their own working hours, I suggest a slight change. Let everyone know that they are expected to attend standup everyday. Talk to the team and ask them to agree on a time for the standup meeting. Also explain the reasons why it's important for all team members to attend.

My personal preference is for companies to set core working hours where everyone is expected to be in. I've found that this gives some flexibility, but also gives the team a good amount of time working together. The hours that all team members are in the office are the most productive.

I'll be going into more depth about core hours versus employee set hours in an upcoming blog post.



  1. Hi James,

    Nice post. We've faced the same thing with flexible working and we did the same approach. We used to just wait until everyone was in (or online) and then do them. Now we do them at 9:45 sharp. Focuses the mind and makes it known that Standups are compulsory. :)

    Seems to work well for us and glad to hear it's working well for you too.


  2. Thanks Rob. I appreciate it. I'm glad you've had a similar experience.