This flexible working thing is growing in popularity day by day.
With modern workforces increasingly consisting of a digitally-savvy generation and taking into account the new focus on our health and wellbeing, there is all the more reason to get caught up on what it means to be flexible.
Flexible working is a blanket term used to cover a myriad of more specific options. Essentially, the official definition of flexible working is anything that differs from the standard 9-5. That’s pretty broad though, isn’t it?
In this blog, we are going to narrow that down and explain each of the different types of flexible working.
Which one do you identify with?
The common definition for ‘job sharing’ is a situation in which 2 people do one job and split the hours.
This works well for people who don’t want to work full time and can also bring its own degree of additional flexibility as colleagues will often accommodate one another’s needs in the management of the hours.
If you are looking for a flexible solution with fewer hours worked, this could be a good route for you.
Working from home
It might be possible to do some or all of your work from home or somewhere other than the normal office.
This is becoming an increasingly popular option for many modern day employees, as it removes the need for commuting, which in turn, stops some carbon use, reduces financial cost and saves employee’s travel time.
Provided your employer is happy for you to work from home, the only thing required is a laptop, access to your work server and a stable internet connection. 52% of employees around the world work from home at least once per week. (Owl Labs) That’s over half! Are you one of them?
Part time has always been a stable cog in the flexible working machine, often an option opted for by parents. Most commonly, it is simply working less than full time hours (usually by working fewer days).
This allows employees to set time aside for other things; be that more family time, caring for dependants, or even running their own business.
The option to work less hours allows more control and greater freedom with working and non-working hours.
Another increasingly popular form of flexible working is compressed hours. While many people find themselves working the standard 7.5 hour day over five days a week, some people would rather work longer days in order to obtain an overall shorter working week.
To do this, they work full-time hours but over fewer days, thus freeing up their personal time for other things.
Put simply, flexitime is where the employee chooses when to start and end work (within agreed limits) but they still work during certain ‘core hours’, for example 10am to 4pm every day.
This format tends to best benefit parents. By agreeing with their employer their core hours, adopting this flexible working approach can allow them to more easily meet the demands of their commitments; including doing the school run or taking children to after-school activities.
This one is less common as a flexible working opportunity. The employee has to work a certain number of hours over the year but they have some flexibility about when they work. Similar to flexitime, there are sometimes ‘core hours’ which the employee regularly works each week, and they work the rest of their hours flexibly or when there’s extra demand at work.
As it says on the tin, the hours the employee works are staggered. For example, they have different start, finish and break times from other employees.
This is another format that works really well, as it allows employees to have the flexibility to bend the hours around their other commitments without completely impacting their working hours or week.
So there you have it. Which one do you identify with? What makes it work for you? Let us know, we’d love to hear from you.