Flexible Work Explained
We’ve heard a lot about flexible work over the past year – but what, exactly, is it? And how can flexible work benefit you?
An adaptable, flexible working conditions empowers employees to choose a lifestyle that suits the employees to accomodate their unique needs. Staff are not all created the same; they are individuals, and not defined by their job. Therefore, an employer who chooses to treat their staff the same will fail to attract and retain the best talent in the industry.
Flexible work has many benefits for employers and staff alike, including increased productivity, better mental health and improved work-life balance. It can also have a positive impact on customer service and workplace culture.
While we all know that flexible work is increasingly popular in our new ‘COVID normal,’ many businesses simply aren’t aware of the six types of remote work available at their disposal. Flexible, adaptable work isn’t solely about location: finding the right type of work for your employees can empower their potential while increasing quality output.
Telecommuting or working remotely
Telecommuting – or working remotely – is the most common means of working remotely in our modern world. This versatile arrangement allows an employee to choose both where they work, and structure their timetable to best integrate their unique lives with their work duties, an improved work-life balance improving output quality and morale. This structure may be either full-time, a few days per week, or even come-and-go to the office as they please.
We are seeing many businesses enthusiastically and successfully embracing this style of work; however, employers need to be aware that not all staff prefer this open-ended method. Choice is key to an empowered workforce, so, we at A1 Office recommend creating a less cut-and-paste approach to working arrangements.
Compressed work week
A compressed work week allows employees to choose working longer on set days in order to take other days off. For instance: working 10 hours per day, four days a week and then having a three-day weekend. While there are benefits to this method, A1 Office isn’t a huge fan of placing so much emphasis on a solid 10+ hours of work. We believe in measuring the qualitative output of tasks over the literal hours worked, as we believe this pays numerous and important dividends, including: reducing stress, improving the physical and mental health of employees, and increased productivity.
Adjusted work hours
Adjusted work hours allow employees to choose the hours they work – within a set of rules designed by their employer. For instance, an employer might decide their staff must work eight hours anywhere between 6am to 9pm. Staff can then decide when they would like to fit in their eight hours throughout the day. For some, this is empowering, freeing them to pick up and drop off kids at school. Others use the flexibility to enjoy a workout or even a nice lunch out during the week. This method essentially allows employees to choose how to best balance their work and life.
Part-time work is a great option for staff who enjoy the security of a contract role while preferring to work fewer hours a week.
Job sharing is designed for one full-time role to be worked by multiple employees. Individual logistics will be different for each workplace, but generally speaking, two or more staff members will divide the workload and responsibilities of one full-time role. While this may seem similar to part-time work, job sharing allows for more versatility, as one employee can cover the work of the other while they are away.
Flexible Vacation Policy
In a business that upholds a ‘Flexible Vacation Policy,’ employees don’t have to save up sick days, annual leave or any other type of leave. Employees can instead choose to work overtime hours, weekends, or other out-of-the-ordinary times to accumulate time off. This accrued leave can be taken at any time, for as long as accumulated. This policy gives employees a greater sense of autonomy when saving – and using – their leave. Staff members decide for themselves whether they will see the world, reset or simply take individual days off to greater balance work and life.
What type of flexible working arrangement works for me?
Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all option for flexible work.
For employers, we recommend listening to your staff’s needs and desires. Understanding comes from accepting that each employee is different. Some staff members, for example, may live in a small one-bedroom flat and love the idea of being out in a physical workspace. Others may need the sporadic connection of being face-to-face just once a week. Some might love working from home. Ask the questions, listen and provide choices to earn a loyal and empowered workforce.
For employees working arrangements, ensure whatever option you choose allows for a healthy and long-term work-life balance when you request flexible working arrangements.
At A1 Office we understand that choosing these modern, flexible arrangements can be tough. We consult with many businesses who are evolving with the times. Through our comprehensive cultural shadowing process, we understand what businesses and their employees need. Empowering potential both technologically and culturally.
Talk to one of our consultants to objectively evaluate your transformation into a flexible working arrangement.