What is Flexibility

What is Flexibility

Flexibility is a way to define how and when work gets done and how careers are organized. It is a critical ingredient to overall workplace effectiveness. Companies use it as a tool for improving recruitment and retention, and managing workload. Research shows that flexibility can also improve employee engagement and job satisfaction and reduce stress.

Below are some key options in workplace flexibility:

Flexible Scheduling

Traditional flexible scheduling allows employees to select their starting and quitting times within a range of hours surrounding core-operating hours.

Daily flexible scheduling allows employees to select their starting and quitting times within a range of hours, typically surrounding core-operating hours, on a daily basis.

A compressed workweek enables employees to work their allotted hours over fewer days – such as 10 hours per day over 4 days, or 80 hours over 9 days, rather than 8 hours per day over 5 days. Some organizations offer “summer hours” by adding an hour to workdays Monday through Thursday, and ending work at 1 PM on Fridays, or similar arrangements.

Reduced Time

Part-time work means working part days, five days per week or working full days, but fewer than five days per week. Job sharing, where two employees share one full-time job with its pro-rated salary and benefits, is also a form of part-time work.

Part-year work means working reduced hours on an annual basis, rather than a daily or weekly basis – for example, working full-time during the school year and then taking a block of time off during the summer.

Flexible Leaves

Time off during the workday to address personal and family issues includes time off for anticipated issues (a parent-teacher conference) or unanticipated issue (waiting for a plumber to fix a broken pipe).

Parental leave is planned time off for mothers and fathers for the birth, adoption, or care of a foster child.

Flexible Careers

Flexible careers include multiple points for entry, exit, and reentry over the course of one career or working life, including formal leaves and sabbaticals, as well as taking time out of the paid labor market, with the ability to reenter.

Flexible Places

A flexible place is defined as working some or most of one’s regularly scheduled hours at a location other than the main location of one’s employer. Telecommuting is a good example.

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