It could be one of the following, or a hybrid of a couple or more of them. First and foremost, it should be the one(s) that suits your organisation and its people.
1. Working from home
Modern technology means we can collaborate with our colleagues no matter where we are in the world. Plus, not every business actually needs to have employees physically ‘there’ in order to do their job. So, if commuting to the office every day is causing strain on an employee’s schedule, then offering a work-from-home arrangement could be the perfect answer.
2. Compressed hours
This simply involves doing fewer shifts that last longer – for example, instead of doing eight hours a day for 5 days a week, an employee might prefer ten hours a day with a three-day weekend. While as an employer, you may want to maintain a 40-hour work week, you can be flexible on where and when those hours are spent. Four 10-hour days and Fridays off for many job seekers is the ultimate schedule. However, it’s only suitable for workers who can remain productive throughout long work days.
3. Customised Working Hours
Allowing employees to choose their own work hours (within reason) is a great perk – and free for an organisation to offer. Some workers are morning people, others have more energy in the evening, and some simply want to avoid rush hour or pick up their children at a certain time. Offering your team members the chance to choose their hours in a window (such as starting anywhere from 6am to 9am) is a popular and relatively simple system.
4. Staggered hours
Staggered hours are very simple arrangements that essentially allow an employee to work to different start/break/finish times than other employees.
5. Job sharing
Some companies use ‘job sharing’ as a flexible working arrangement. This involves giving one job to two people, and then having them split the hours/tasks between themselves. Some employers find it best that both employees have at least one day in common, so they can share information and brief each other on current tasks and issues.
6. Occasional flexibility
This responds to one-time or intermittent circumstances, e.g. a house repair-person will arrive between 8am and 6pm; a tube strike or a car/train breakdown; writing a pitch proposal. It generally will not require a formal proposal but establishing parameters in writing encourages ‘ground rules’ at any level of frequency.
It’s nearly impossible to choose one option that ticks all boxes for all employees so be flexible about flexibility! At the end of the day, it’s a tool for a strong work-life balance and by tailoring your flexible working options, you can meet the numerous demands of your employees while improving morale, engagement, productivity and profits.
If you would like to talk to us about implementing flexible working into your business, we would love to help. Call us on 0207 9203 9290 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.