July 7, 2016

Alternative Work Arrangements

Gone are the days when the only work arrangement was to be in the office every day from 8 to 5. With advances in technology as well as changing views on work/life balance, there are many alternate work arrangements available to employees today. Some of the most common alternative arrangements are flex-time, compressed work-week, and telecommuting.

Flex-time is when employees work the standard 8 hour days/40 hour weeks, but their start and end times vary from day-to-day. For example, one day they may start work at 7:00 am and the next day they may not start until 9:00 am. Oftentimes the employer will set “core hours” in which all employees are required to be there (such as 10:00-2:00), and the employees can set their start and end times around those. Flex-time arrangements allow employees to maximize their work/life balance by giving them the freedom to arrange their work schedules around their personal lives rather than vice-versa.

Compressed work-weeks are when an employee works the typical 40 hour work week, but in a shorter number of days. The most common is the 4/10 in which an employee works 10 hours per day for 4 days.

Thanks to advances in technology, employees can now telecommute. Employees can often times complete their jobs from home rather than commuting to the office every day. A common arrangement is for an employee to be in the office a set number of days per week (2 or 3), and work remotely on the other days.

These alternative work arrangements are relatively simple for employers to implement, and can be a highly desired perk for employees as well as cost effective for employers. The logic behind them is that by making it easier for employees to have control over their work/life balance, they will be more productive when they are working…thus ensuring more loyal employees who are less likely to jump ship, and happier employees to help the company reach their goals.

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