Flexible working opportunities are increasing, giving employees flexibility on where, when and what hours they work. It has traditionally been associated with the needs of parents and carers, but increasingly organisations are realising the benefits of providing more flexible options to their employees.
Flexible working is now typically categorised into three main types: full-time, part-time and career flexibility, whereas historically flexible working arrangements in the workplace were defined as ‘part-time’.
So what exactly are all the options for flexible working?
Flexi time: this might be in a full-time or part-time capacity but basically means the employer has provided ‘flexitime’ and the ability for the employee to choose the start and finish time of the working day relative to the organisation’s business hours.
Remote working: again this may be either in a full-time or part-time capacity however in this instance, the employer enables the employee to work remotely to complete their work. The employer may grant a full-time remote working arrangement, that is the employee completes 100% of their designated hours from home or another location. Or in other instances, the employee may complete part of their hours on a remote basis combined with time spent working in the office.
Compressed work week: this working arrangement may see the employee complete their total hours across a reduced number of days. For example, rather than a standard 40 hours across a five-day work week, the employee will complete 40 hours across four days by adding an additional two hours to their day or similar.
Job Share: in some instances, it may be seen by an organisation or individual that reducing the hours of a role may have a negative impact on the employee and/or success of a business, therefore the employer may introduce a job-share scheme where two employees can share the role (including its salary and benefits) on a part-time basis. In other cases, two-employees looking to find a healthy work/life balance may propose a job-share arrangement to their employer.
Part-time: originally the most common form of flexible working, part-time sees the employee complete the role a few days a week or part days per week, rather than the traditional five days per week.
Time in lieu/banked hours: this one may seem common to many who work past their standard hours of work on a regular basis. Time in lieu simply means taking time off as compensation for extra hours worked while banked hours refers to extra hours worked by an employee which they can access at a later stage.
Purchasing additional leave: this working arrangement sees employees ‘buy’ additional leave further to their standard entitlement and average the reduced salary over the year.
Freelance/consulting: with experts forecasting that 40 percent of the professional workforce will be on-demand freelancers by 2025, freelancing is becoming the most popular flexible working arrangement. Freelancing is where a self-employed individual offers specialty services to businesses, and often to multiple clients at a time. It’s an ideal way to gain work/life balance benefits including setting your own hours, and doing the work, when and where you want it.
Other forms of working arrangements an employer may grant an individual include unpaid leave, part-year work or study leave.
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