3 Types of Flexible Work Arrangements Your Employees Want

professional skills

Updates to technology have made flexible work arrangements easier than ever. Read on for a few of the most common work arrangements and why employees may desire them.

Flexible Work Arrangements

As the modern workplace becomes increasingly digital in nature, employees have begun calling for work schedules that better fit their scheduling needs. The days of working Monday through Friday from 9 to 5 may not be gone, but flexible work arrangements mean that employees have greater freedom when it comes to setting a schedule.

Offering an alternative work schedule is a prime example of employee recognition and is a great way to demonstrate trust in loyal and hardworking employees. Let's take a look at some of the more popular situations and why they appeal to employees.

Telecommuting

Telecommuting, or working remotely, has become more popular and desirable as technology has evolved. Thanks to video conferencing, better Wi-Fi, and the rise of mobile devices, telecommuting is now easier than ever.

Employees looking for new work arrangements enjoy the flexibility that working remotely offers. Being able to skip the morning commute and save money on gas is also an enticing motivation.

working from home

For the majority of jobs, employees only need internet access to get set up, meaning that they can work from home, the library, a coffee shop, or even in other countries. They may need something like a virtual private network (VPN) to access an employer's systems, but only in rare cases do employees need special software.

Staggered Hours

If you can't let employees change where they work, you should consider letting them change when they work, in order to create a more sustainable work-life balance in the office. For the average American, a standard workday is from 9 AM to 5 PM, and the workweek consists of 40 hours. You can give your employees greater flexibility by letting them play with the time of their shifts.

building a schedule

For example, an employee may work from 11 AM to 7 PM or from 6 AM to 2 PM. This model works well for employees of all backgrounds with different types of needs. For example, employees with children may want to start work later in the morning so they can see their children off to school, while employees who define themselves as ''morning people'' can beat rush hour traffic and get an early start to the workday.

Compressed Workweek

If you're in a field that requires your employees to be at work at a certain time, staggered hours may not be an option. To work around this and create a flexible work arrangement, take a look into a compressed workweek. As mentioned above, the average workweek is 40 hours, but that doesn't mean it needs to be spread out over five days.

Instead of working five 8-hour days a week, allow your employees to work four 10-hour days. Everyone loves a 3-day weekend, so why not make every weekend an extended one? Many employees will gladly work an extra two hours each day if it means getting an extra day off at the end of the week.

If you need someone in the office at all times, simply stagger the days off and assign a different schedule to each employee. Better yet, let employees choose the day they wish to have off.

using technology at work

The suggestions listed above are just that - suggestions. The beauty of flexible work schedules is that they're, well, flexible; they can be modified and adapted in any number of ways.

For more information on how these schedules work and what their benefits include, check out this lesson on job flexibility from Study.com, which covers telecommuting and compressed schedules, among other options.

By Bill Sands
March 2018
professional skills flexibility in the workplace

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