Flexible Work Arrangements: Definition & Policy

Instructor: Rana Abourizk

Rana has a Masters Degree in Business Administration and is pursuing a Doctorial Degree. She has been teaching online for over a year. She has a strong business background.

Most of us are familiar with a regular work timetable. This lesson will explore the concept of flexible work arrangements. Learn what it means, how it works, and review common rules/policies. Take a quiz after the lesson.

Definition

A flexible work arrangement is one that doesn't have the normal constraints of a traditional job. For example, employers who offer flexible work arrangements may allow employees to come into work earlier than normal and leave earlier than normal, or an employee may work longer days three days per week rather than five. Additionally, an employee may be allowed to work from home rather than from an office. Finally, an employee may be able to take a leave of absence or share certain aspects of work and pay with other employees. Flexible work arrangements can be beneficial for parents, students, people with a second job, or people with any other major life commitments.

Examples

Sarah is an actress, and she has a job with flexible hours. She punches in and out the times she would like to work, and she can work partial days on Fridays. If she has an audition, she can make up the time another day. What's nice about this flexible arrangement is it breaks up that routine of regular work days, and it allows Sarah to pursue her dream of acting.

Tom is an engineer. He works for a company that allows him to work from home at least three days a week. This is ideal for him because he has kids. He also likes the idea because in the time it would take him to get to work he can be working on his assignment for the day. It also saves him money on a commute. Being able to stay with his kids longer is convenient and it makes Tom and his family happy.

Marjory is a mother with a busy schedule and an accountant. She shares her assignments with another worker. They both do the work of one full-time employee. The company knows how important flexibility is to people like Marjory and many others, therefore it has been implemented in the workplace since 2000. With this arrangement, Marjory is able to use her skills and education to work a professional job on a part-time basis.

Stephanie works for a financial institution. She is an information technology specialist. Her job gives her the freedom to work in any location. If there is inclement weather, heavy traffic, or any type of incident that may stop her from reaching her main location, she can work from home or any nearby branch.

Rules/Policies

More and more employers are offering flexible work arrangements to benefit their employees. However, flexible arrangements require a lot of trust, and employers often have strict policies that employees must adhere to in order to maintain their flexible schedules. Some common policies are similar to the following:

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