Do you work for an employer that allows flexible work options? Is flexibility a significant factor in how you manage your schedule? Throughout the years, flexible work has been typical that more companies are allowing more options. There are many flexibility workplace examples that employers provide, and they’re continuing to become widely available.
Flexibility workplace examples: What is flexibility in the workplace?
Flexible work times allows workers to work non-traditional schedules, with limits set by their employers. The upsides include managing work-life balance, working fewer hours, and productivity increases. Working a traditional work schedule (Monday-Friday, 9 am-5 pm) may not be the best route for some people. So employers offering flexible programs can help overcome some of those conflicts.
According to one study (before the COVID-19 outbreak), around 59% of UK workers felt stressed due to their commute to work.
Also, around 6 out of 10 respondents (63%) used to have a commute that lasted over a half-hour long. Based on this previous study, it may indicate that flexible work options can provide better solutions to these problems.
What to expect moving forward?
As we move past 2020, it’s vital to come up with better ideas for flexible work options. They can benefit in ways to reduce health issues and provide a better work-life balance for workers.
In this post, I will go over several options for workplace flexibility. Some of them have already been tried out, and likely will be considered in the years to come. They include the following:
1.) Staggered hours in the daily schedule
2.) Allowing employees to have mixed days
3.) Core hours with a variable schedule
4.) Variable days (8-hours, 6-hours, 12-hours)
5.) Mid-day breaks from work
Flexibility workplace examples
Staggered hours in the daily schedule
Staggered hours have been around for many years, so it’s not an uncommon practice. A staggered schedule means you work at the same place, but your start and end times will differ. Instead of working a typical 9-5 schedule, you might work between the hours of 10-6 or 11-7.
These days, it might make more sense to have people not working together during the same hours at the same place. If employers prefer having fewer people in the office at the same time, staggered hours might be an excellent option to provide besides remote work.
Some companies are willing to provide staggered schedules for their employees. Where I used to work, I had some colleagues who worked slightly different schedules.
For example, one individual would start an hour and a half later than I did. The reason being was for family issues, so that’s completely understandable. That schedule I used to work started early in the morning, so early morning hours might not work best for some people.
Allow employees mixed days (or partial remote work)
A mixed schedule throughout the week may be an excellent long-term option. Some people would work from home a couple of days throughout the week, then come into the office on other days. Some employers are trying it out now, but it might be a common practice someday. This option might be the way forward once we’re in a post-COVID-19 era.
Also, it could help balance a work schedule nicely. Rather than coming into the office five days a week (or sitting at home all the time), it’s good to break up your week if every day becomes boring and monotonous. Whether that’s a weather dilemma or if you’re sick, allowing mixed days can work out best for the employer and employee.
For those who worked remotely over the years, this option is prevalent. Some people were used to working some days remotely, while other days they would go into the office. I know some people who had this schedule, and they adapted very well to it.
Core hours with a variable schedule
Core hours are hours when everyone has to be onsite at work. Some people are allowed to modify their arrival and departure times, and the rest of the hours can vary. What I mean by hours altering is the rest of the time can be spent working remotely. So the remaining hours are more flexible.
A typical example would be working half-day at the office and the other half at home. So someone has the option to have their morning exercise, come into work late morning into mid-afternoon, then work at home for the rest of the afternoon. That person could work between 10 am-2 pm, then working the other four hours at home.
Another example would be working early in the morning, take a break mid-day, then work later in the afternoon. If someone is bound to work well in the early morning, that should be allowed as well.
Or if their peak time is in the middle of the afternoon, that can be an option as well. Core hours are another way for employees to work flexibly.
Compressible work week/Variable days (8-hours, 6-hours, 12-hours)
Not every day has to be working for the same eight hours. Throughout the week, some people can work shorter days, while others can be longer. As long as they add up to the right amount of hours (i.e., 40 hours per week), it should be fine.
Some days, people can work for ten or 12-hour days. On other days, they can work shorter hours to add more free time during the day. Working six hours (or even four hours) can be beneficial if people need to take care of personal things.
If someone wanted to work a four-day week, those hours could be possible. For example, I was working on a 4-10 schedule (four 10-hour workdays). Also, work two 12-hour days along with two 8-hour days to add up to a 40-hour workweek.
Either way, it can allow an extra day off if people prefer to work longer hours on some days. Some people are willing to have three days off compared to two days.
Mid-day breaks from work
One other option would be to allow longer breaks in the middle of the day. If it’s what some people prefer, they can start earlier and work later if allowed. It may not sound like the best one, but some people might like longer breaks.
If longer breaks allow people to get personal things done, it might be beneficial for them. An everyday schedule would be working from 8 am-noon, followed by a two-hour break (noon-2pm). After the break, they would work the other half from 2 pm-6 pm. It might be a long day, but the long break in the afternoon would open up more free time.
Overall, these are common flexible work examples that can help with work-life balance. It can improve boost productivity with some people working fewer hours or being on non-traditional schedules. Also, the idea of being adaptable is essential to have in the workplace. If you’re willing to be versatile, the better you’re able to embrace changes later on.
There will be many changes in the workplace moving forward. If it’s going to mean more partial remote work or staggered work schedules, it might help improve the way work is performed.
Who knows, maybe productivity will go up if these options are implemented in the long-term. But it’ll be worthwhile seeing what will take place in the years to come. Flexibility is viewed more positively these days, so it’ll be a matter of time.
Do you think there should be more flexible work options available? If offered, which one of the examples would you be interested in trying out?
Leave a comment below and please share this post with others.
Eric is a time management consultant and owner of the blog, quitkillingtime.com. He takes great pride in helping people manage their time, personally and professionally. Eric is a firm believer in time freedom, as he believes in taking ownership of time. “Time is your most important asset. It can be your best friend or worst enemy. How you use your time can shape the future you desire to have.” In his leisure time, Eric loves to write and read whenever possible. He likes to go for long walks out in nature and been taking Zumba classes every week at his local gym. You can follow Eric via Facebook and LinkedIn.