Flexible work arrangement means alternate schedules or arrangements which are flexible or adjustable from the traditional working patterns. Such Work Arrangements give more flexibility in your hands.
What is Flexible Work Arrangement?
This arrangement is primarily given to employees for greater flexibility in scheduling. They can schedule their work according to their obligations and requirements by matching it with the designation or position and the organization.
The most common type of work flexibility is in terms of the starting and ending time of the work. Of course, it is to be ensured that the total commitment given to the employer is not disturbed in this flexibility. In this case, the total number of hours per day is served, but the starting and ending time will be flexible.
Other types of common flexible work arrangements involve job sharing, commuting, etc. flexible work arrangements necessary for people to balance their work and life. Having a flexible work arrangement can make the job more attractive to prospective employees.
Flexible work arrangements have become popular recently because of COVID-19.
Types of Flexible work arrangements
Remote jobs are known as telecommuting. It can be a full-time position or a part-time position. It usually means that the employees do not need to come to the office regularly. Usually, employees who telecommute stay locally.
This is required because although they are not required to go to the office every day, they may be required to come on some days for important meetings or events. The telecommuting schedule is the most productive schedule in which an employee comes to the office for two or three days a week.
Irrespective of the designation, any employee can do telecommuting as long as his work requires him to work from the office. Every office person can work from home if needed. But the employee should also come to the office whenever called for. That is why managers prefer a person who lives locally and can come to the office quickly.
2. Remote working
Remote working is working from far off distance, maybe a home or a designated facility by the company. In this, the employee is not at all required to come to the office since all his work is away from the office. Since the employee is not required to go to the office, he can work and live anywhere in the world.
Remote working is suitable for companies who don’t require the employee to be present in the office. It helps to get the best of the talent around the world with minimal cost.
Uninterrupted communication and video conferencing are very important for such works. The other advantage of remote working is an employee – sitting in any corner of the world – can get an opportunity to work anywhere.
3. Condensed workweeks
Most of the employers work with a 40-hour workweek. But if the employer is flexible with when and how those hours are spent, then you can have a condensed work week. A condensed workweek is a shorter workweek as compared to the normal one.
A typical workweek will require you to work eight hours a day, which equates to 5 days a week, but a condensed workweek can be 10-hr a day for four days or 12hrs a day for 3.5 days.
The only concern is the employee should remain productive throughout the workweek. It is not manageable by all the employees, and therefore it is expected that the organization should implement it on the employees who are willing to do it.
Another advantage of having a condensed workweek is the company can save on resources. However, the organization should ask the employees if they are okay with flexible work arrangements.
4. Customized working hours
Customized working hours is allowing the employees to work within their timings. It is somewhat related to the condensed work week, but the difference is the employees have a window of time to select from, in case of customized working hours.
Customized working hours are very flexible for employees who have other commitments like the school of children. They get the flexibility of starting the work anywhere between 6 AM to 9 AM, which is very simple and effective.
Customized working hours help people to adjust their schedules according to their jobs by balancing their priorities.
5. Part-time positions
Every job does not require full-time work, and many jobs operate on part-time employees. It is often seen that part-time positions increase productivity, contrary to common belief.
The employees can get the benefit of working in the organization and balance their other commitments. Usually, these jobs are for the ones who have different things going on at the same time. For example, students or workers who work at different places during one shift and at another place during the other.
If the employer extends the benefits of full-time employees to part-time positions, then the retention rate increases and gets to keep the highest quality talent.
6. Job sharing
As the name suggests, job sharing consists of two or more people who are working part-time and share a full-time job. It is unlike amongst the most flexible work arrangements and somewhat related to part-time work. But that being said, it can be a good fit for some businesses.
Job sharing is increasingly becoming popular in many companies. From the perspective of the employee, it is a part-time job. Both the employees get the benefit of a part-time job by getting the rest of the time free.
On the other hand, it is equivalent to a full-time job for the employer but without offering the same benefits. This is cost-effective for the employer. But in any case, job sharing also requires that the manager supervises the people who are working for a single job.
Coordination is significant in job sharing because it involves more than one person. Also, coordination between the manager and the employees who share the job is essential.
7. Flexible vacation time
Many jobs offer unlimited paid time off. This can be very lucrative for employees in terms of job prospects. There are multiple requirements when it comes to flexible vacation time, but it is more rewarding.
In this case, performance is the quality of prioritized over quantity. The work quality should be topmost, which can get a lot of work done in significantly less time. The organization expects such employees to work focused on specific tasks.
1. Employee flexibility
This is the utmost importance and number one advantage of flexible work arrangements. The employees can focus on and manage their work and personal life, which is the desire of the hour.
If you have a flexible schedule that can accommodate a day off or a parent-teacher conference in work hours, it indeed has more attractiveness than other jobs. These work arrangements allow the employee to accomplish what he desires the most while enjoying the work and making some decent money.
2. Employee commute
Flexible work arrangements help the employees to manage their commute timings. There are many places in the world where employees travel for two or three hours to reach the office and two or three hours to come back home.
This means that the employee gives more than 14 hours of his time to his job, which pays him only for 8 hours. In such cases, the employee will prefer flexible work arrangements that will reduce his travel time and increase productivity and reduce stress.
Flexible work schedules help the employees to take control of their work schedules and personal life. It allows him to manage his schedule and stay productive.
Flexible work arrangements help the employer to reduce operational costs. For example, the remote employee will not come to the office; thereby, the cost of electricity, coffee, and other consumables will be reduced.
The employer can develop himself as employee-friendly with flexible work schedules. The companies can also hire people with lower wages since the person can work from home and reduce the rest of the cost.
However, it is essential to ensure that the organization’s quality does not drop when you reduce the cost.
- Many employers still prefer seeing their employees in person. Trust is an essential factor when it comes to flexible work arrangements, and developing trust determines the success of these arrangements. In many team-oriented organizations, teams are expected to meet to set guidelines and manage their schedules. If the employer trusts his employee, it wouldn’t matter, but if he doesn’t, then the organization and the employee are in trouble.
- And while many jobs can incorporate flexible work arrangements, others cannot. For example, in manufacturing or healthcare jobs cannot have the advantage of flexibility in work arrangements. These jobs have to be done in person, and the employer has to bear those costs.
- The effectiveness of personal interaction is much more as compared to digital interactions. No matter how advanced or how clear the camera gets, personal interaction and the face-to-face meeting will have a more pronounced and intimidating effect. This is true, especially in terms of sales jobs.
Flexible work arrangements are crucial in improving employee work-life balance and also helps the employer to save costs. There are multiple arrangements of flexible work, and both the employee and the employer should be on the same page before agreeing to these arrangements.