Job Flexibility in the Workplace

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  • 0:05 Job Flexibility
  • 1:07 Flextime and the…
  • 2:04 Job Sharing or Twinning
  • 3:10 Telecommuting
  • 4:32 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Sherri Hartzell

Sherri has taught college business and communication courses. She also holds three degrees including communications, business, educational leadership/technology.

It's tough to find the right balance between work and life, but many employers are helping to make that task a little easier. Watch this lesson to learn about job flexibility in the workplace, including flextime, a compressed workweek, and telecommuting.

Job Flexibility

Having a good work/life balance is something that most people value. For many employees, the typical nine-to-five schedule simply does not work for them. Additionally, many of today's organizations are really beginning to recognize the benefits of offering employees family-friendly work options. Employers are finding that an increased awareness of these needs, as well as advances in technology, are helping them to attract and retain quality employees.

By accommodating these individuals and their outside interests and needs, alternative work schedules are used to create job flexibility. For some, part-time work such as job sharing (or twinning) is best. For others, their preferences require shorter workweeks with full-time hours, such as working a compressed workweek, and some even prefer to work from home by telecommuting. Offering employees flexibility for when and where they perform their jobs is a workplace practice that has many benefits for both the employee and the organization.

Flextime and the Compressed Workweek

There are many things that we wish we had more control over in our lives, and time is certainly one of them for most of us. Flextime allows employees the opportunity to determine and control the hours in which they work. One form of flextime is a compressed workweek, which permits employees to work their standard 40-hour schedule in less than a five-day workweek. For example, an employee might work four 10-hour days or three 12-hour days. This option affords the employee an extra day or two off from work while preserving the income of a full-time job, and it also saves them from their commute to and from work on those days. Many people are happy having the extra day off to do errands, leaving their weekends for leisure; however, even with the extra days off, the long days of working can certainly lead to fatigue and burnout. When properly matched, though, the organization benefits from lower absenteeism and improved performance.

Job Sharing or Twinning

Some jobs are better completed with the help of two people. The idea of job sharing, also known as twinning, does just that by dividing one full-time job among two employees. The employees essentially 'share' the job by splitting the hours of the job among two employees; one employee works the first half of the day, week, or month, and the other employee is responsible for the second half. For example, Jill and Jane share the job of a full-time receptionist, but Jill has kids and Jane has an elderly parent that she cares for. Both Jill and Jane only have enough time to work a part-time schedule. Because Jill has kids, she needs to be home with them when they return from school, whereas Jane needs to be with her mom early in the morning until her nurse arrives. Therefore, Jill is able to work the first four hours of the receptionist shift, and Jane works the second half. The organization benefits from having two qualified employees, and Jill and Jane benefit from the flexibility of job sharing.

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