Published on July 14, 2020
Updated on July 14, 2020
Read time 7 minutes
What is Flexible Working? Here’s What You Need to Know
We are halfway through the year 2020 by now. Looking back, we have to admit that times were rough at a global level. There is a pandemic in parts of the world that has drastically changed the professional work model. More and more businesses are either going under or going online. That’s the way it’s shaping up to be.
From the research conducted by TUC, it is obvious that many of the businesses even in the most advanced countries in the world like Britain, have yet to switch their businesses over to the world of flexible working.
According to that research, it is seen that over a third of all workforce is denied any and every request about flexible working, and not only that, more than 58% of the entire corporate population is not even offered the possibility to work flexible hours.
But according to the state of the world right now, one of the most important and effective benefits that you can get from your employer is the ability to work flexibly. And don’t worry, not all managers are from Britain.
According to research, the managers who are more open to a more flexible and agile mindset, love the flexible working scenario because it takes the edge off of managing an on-site team and managing the whole building too.
So, what exactly is flexibly working? Let’s find out.
What is Flexible Working?
Flexible working is a tremendous alternative to the traditional model of working in an office. Flexible working is also called working from the home scenario or setting your hours for work.
This type of model was the trademark of freelancers not so long ago, but since the pandemic hit and the word has gone into disarray, more and more companies around the world are adopting the model to make sure that the company stays afloat.
Working in this scenario is a dream come true for the employee.
You can work as a part-time employee in multiple jobs to earn more money, you can do job-sharing, you can start very early if you don’t want to wait for the clock to strike 9 am, you can have a ate start at noon if you don’t like to get up early, you can work from home or a café. It’s the best.
Flexible working is also quite beneficial for the manager too. You can save a lot of time by not stressing on all of the little details of the working day of the employee by letting them choose their hours and their own working space.
This will encourage the employee to do better and finish their work accordingly.
One other thing to note is that the people who don’t have this freedom at their office can demand it. Employees always have the right to demand flexible working hours when the whole world is facing a pandemic and even in normal circumstances.
Companies also need to change their whole working rules and regulations and try out the new flexible and agile working methodology to make sure that the employee feels recognized and the company retains its most valuable resource which was and always will be, employees.
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What are the Different Types of Flexible Working?
There are a lot of different ways that you can use to flexibly work for your company. They are as follows:
1. Working from Home
If it probably one of the most famous forms of flexibly working for your job.
In this scenario, like most of us right now, you work from the comfort of your own home or from anywhere you want as long as it has an internet connection and you stay connected to your manager, the whole time you’re working.
2. Part-Time Working
Probably one of the oldest types of flexible working is part-time working. In this scenario, the employee has the freedom to work for a small number of hours and spend their other chunk of the day doing another job or something else that they want to do.
3. Job Sharing
Job sharing is another type of working flexibly as it grants the ability for two people to do the same job but at different times of the day. That means that if you get a job that you have to perform for 16 hours, you can share that job with another person willing to work 8 hours.
The salary will be divided according to the agreement you have between you.
4. Compressed Hours
It is an amazing type of flexibly working that enables the employees that want to finish their work quite fast to cover all of their working hours quickly.
So, if you have to work 20 hours a day spanning over 5 days (4 hours per day), you can work for 20 hours in a day or two days and complete your hours.
5. Flexible Hours
In this scenario, employees are free to work from any location and work any hours they want. There is no check and balance on when they started working and when they ended their work.
The managers want the assignments to be completed and not how many hours the employees spent working.
What are the Benefits of Working Flexibly?
There are a lot of different benefits to working flexibly. But all of these benefits are divided into many categories. Let’s talk about all of those categories individually.
Flexible Working Benefits for Small and Medium Enterprises
One of the biggest lies about flexible working scenarios is that they are only suitable for guardians, parents, or carers of the elderly as they need to have more flexibility in their day to maintain a work-life balance. This is no longer the case now.
The concept of flexible working has exploded worldwide as more and more employees all over the world are going in quarantine and they need to have the ability to work remotely or flexibly otherwise the future of the employee and the company are both in peril.
And this concept is even getting more traction in small and medium enterprises because of factors like the company size and logistics.
We know that if you’re a small company, it might seem a bit counterproductive that you are allowing your employees to work remotely or flexibly, but rest assured that when you will expand your staff population and your company, you can expect more staff retention because of your earlier policies.
One other major benefit of working flexibly for SMEs is that the employees feel at ease more. They feel less observed and under watch which allows them to spread their wings fully, increase their productivity, and get the work done in less time than usual.
Flexible Working Benefits for Employers
There are a lot of benefits for employers too when it comes to employees having the freedom to work flexibly. For starters, happy workers are more productive than normal and that provides an immense boost in the value being generated for the company.
This fire of productivity can go on and on because when the employers give the ability of flexibly working, to the employees, they feel respected, acknowledged and protected, which makes them more competent workers that never stop shining.
As an employer, you should always offer a flexible working clause in the job description. This is an attention magnet when it comes to hiring recruits, and having the company populated with the best and the brightest minds available on the market.
Having working hours as a perk in the job description is all well and good because it increases staff retention and such, but not having it in the job description can cost you a lot of good employees that could’ve worked for you if you hadn’t been rigid enough to drive them away from the company.
So, it’s very important that as an employer you have this perk available for your employees otherwise the business is going to suffer in the long run.
Flexible Working Benefits for Employees
Flexible working hours are an amazing perk for employees to have in any company. This is beneficial because it allows the workers to create a proper work-life balance to spend more time with the family and less time working in the office.
For example, if the worker just had a baby or they have to take care of their elderly parents, then working flexibly for 2 days a week or something like that can greatly help them out in their pursuit to be a model employee a good son/daughter for their parents.
Working flexibly also gives the employees a proper control over their working hours and schedule which they can construct as they see fit to make sure that their personal and professional life don’t clash and everything goes seamlessly according to plan.
Also, working remotely means that the employees don’t even have to leave their beds to start working in the morning. To that end, we have the pandemic haunting us every day – so, it’s better to work remotely or flexibly to decrease the chances of spreading the virus.
What are the Disadvantages of Flexible Working?
After all that praise you might have thought that the concept of flexible working was bulletproof and that there was no chink in its armor.
However, there’s a stark reality factor going on in there.
Despite all the advantages of flexible working, some disadvantages can prove to be quite fatal to business workflow.
The most common factor is dishonesty. Company owners are forced to micromanage and keep tabs on their employees because of flexible working hours. Many people reportedly don’t put in the same level of effort while they are operating on flexible hours.
Likewise, procrastination also takes a spike when most of the workforce is working via a remote channel. But then again, there are ways and measures to deal with such behavioral patterns immediately.
Flexible working is not suitable for roles that require the employees to be facing the customers throughout the day. For example, if you work in a shop or if you are a nurse, you can’t work flexibly because the future of the company depends on you being there and work.
This way of doing your work is also harmful to your work-life balance if you are not capable of handling it. Failure to maintain balance will often lead you to a quick burnout instance. Therefore, practice, improvise and work with dedication if you are blessed with a flexible working schedule.
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