Flexible work programs

Types of flexible work program

Flexible work programs come in many different forms and shapes. Whether someone is working from a remote location or has flexible start and end times, there are many different possibilities and combinations. There is no one-size-fits all solution. Each case needs to be reviewed individually, depending on the company and team needs and the way of working of the individual requesting a flexible schedule. Below is an overview of the most common types of flexible work programs in the market.

Job Sharing

Job sharing refers to the possibility of two or more colleagues to share one job, including the benefits and responsibilities. The hours and responsibility can be split 50-50 for two employees or based on an agreement like 40-60, or 30-30-40 for three employees (it is uncommon to have more than 2 Job Sharers, but it can be done with a good communication strategy). The most common form is for two employees to split time and responsibilities evenly. In practice, both employees could work 2.5 days each or 3 days each with one day where both employees will work together, allowing them to update each other.

Flex time

Employees participating in a Flex-time program are allowed to have a non-standardized work week, in agreement with their manager, which is the most common form of flexible work programs. Flex-time includes ‘Staggered hours’ where the starting and end times of the work day differ from the usual 9-5. For example, one might choose to work 7am to 4pm every day. Employees might also opt to have 2 longer, 2 normal and 1 short day during their work week (10 h on Monday & Tuesday, 8h on Wednesday & Thursday and 4h on Friday). Another possibility is to work so-called core hours, meaning employees must be present in the office during specific hours, for example 10am to 2pm. The other 4 hours of the work day can be organized as the employee sees fit. This may vary as long as 40 hours a week have been reached. Yet another possibility is to benefit from longer scheduled breaks during noon. This means employees would work for example from 8am to 12am, take a 2 hour lunch break and continue working from 2pm to 6pm. Again, there are lots of possibilities to meet the employees’ and company’s needs.

Compressed work week

A compressed work week means that employees will work full time but do so in less than the usual 5 days. For example, this could mean four 10h days and one day off per week or working 80 hours over 2 weeks in nine days (eight 9 hour days + one 8 hour day).

Working from an alternative work site

Telecommuting or working from an alternative work site allows employees to do their work from a remote location. This can happen from their own home or a different location like a co-working space. Employees simply connect to the office via computer and phone. Employees could for example work certain days from home or a different work location/company office. Working from an alternative work site could also be a temporary agreement. This is most helpful for new moms or people wanting time away from the office to concentrate on finalizing a project without the usual ‘office’ interruptions.

Part time

Part time allows the employee to work less than a 40 hours work week for example 50% or 75%. This gives the employee the opportunity to take care of other aspects of their life and family demands. The big down side is the reduction in pay and the perceived negative impact on his/her career. To re-solve this it is helpful to have an open and honest conversation between the employee and his/her manager. Career goals and possibilities need to be addressed. On the manager’s side it is important to analyze and understand the impact of the employee working part time (especially if said employee has worked full time before).

Made by The Job Tailors 2017

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