6 Benefits of Flex Working (With Definition and Types)

It’s a complex issue, but it’s clear that flexibility should be a priority. Our research into building a better work model post Covid-19 found that a mere 4% of employees surveyed want to return to offices full-time, with the bulk of them (68%) preferring to work from home three or two days a week.

While convenience and flexibility are often cited as reasons for preferring a hybrid model, a deeper dive into employee sentiments reveals that a combination of remote and office work could play a big role in fostering sustainable benefits for individuals, organizations, and the environment. In short, a successful implementation of flexible work options has real potential to improve everyone’s lives.

The workday forms a sizable and important part of our daily lives. What happens during it prompts positive or negative emotions, creating a sense of happiness or tedium. What’s more, integrating our professional and personal lives has become more important to our health and well-being at a time when there are many dual-income couples, single-parent families, and families with adult children taking care of elderly parents.

It is critical for employees in these situations to wear several hats at once. Coupled with this, the growth in cities, traffic jams, and long commutes have ratcheted up people’s stress levels. A good mix of flexibility at the workplace would focus on seeking strategies that foster emotional health and limit potential stress factors. MORE FOR YOU

Our studies found positive effects on health and well-being on the days when people worked from home, so long as this is done at most three days a week. We should make clear that working exclusively and indefinitely from home is disadvantageous to employee well-being by depriving them of team cohesion, and the benefits of face-to-face social interaction.

That said, our data speaks quite convincingly on the advantages of remote work being the best path when coupled with some days at the office. Organizations should take to heart that offering the flexibility of working two or three days per work from home may be the key to healthier and happier employees.

“The cost of in-person work depends primarily on the physical conditions of the job, the distance between work and home, and the traffic,” says Pilar de Castro Manglano, a psychiatrist at the University Clinic of Navarra and lecturer at IESE Business School. “In-person work certainly leads to more contact with different kinds of personalities, which, in turn, implies more distractions and decreased efficiency.”

In addition, rigid workspace and time structures may exclude some groups from the job market, such as women with children or dependents under their care. For this reason, flexible work models can help mothers join the working world. In a pilot test we conducted at IESE’s International Center for Work and Family in which the employees of a company alternated working at the office with remote work, we found that everyone benefited, but that women with children benefited the most.

Lowering energy consumption is the main factor linking remote work to sustainability. Firstly, it lowers the need for travel, as many commutes between the home and office are rendered unnecessary. Secondly, it lowers energy consumption at offices, since less electricity and gas oil are used in workplaces when people work at home. By reducing work mobility, remote work can be an alternative way to reduce the polluting emissions caused by transportation.

It can be tricky at this stage to draw conclusions on reduced carbon outputs when people work from home given the possibility of their increased non-work travel during those days. Still, our research points to reductions in: stress and exhaustion from traffic jams; congestion, pollution in cities; overall ecological footprints; the accident rate during commutes to and from work and noise pollution.

A flexible workplace offers employees
  • a large reduction in commuting time and gas expenses. …
  • less distractions. …
  • more collaborative places to work. …
  • the chance to work when you are at your best. …
  • boosts employee morale and collaborative thinking. …
  • reduces tardiness and absenteeism.

Flex From 1st – Benefits of Flexible Working

6 benefits of flex working

If youre considering a job with a flexible schedule or location, it may be helpful to understand its benefits. Six benefits of flex working include:

1. Controllable work environment

If you can choose your own work environment, you may feel calmer while completing your tasks. The ability to manage distractions and create an optimal space to work may also increase your satisfaction with your job. Even a hybrid working situation, where you work some days in a location of your choosing and some days in your companys office, allows you to relocate if one working environment isnt conducive to productivity on a particular workday.

2. Increased job satisfaction

Controlling your schedule and the location in which you work may increase your satisfaction and productivity. Employees who work in flex working positions may feel a sense of ownership over their work-life balance that allows them to consistently monitor their physical and mental well-being.

3. Saving resources

From both an employees and an employers perspective, a flexible working arrangement saves resources. Employees save money and time with a reduced or nonexistent commute to work, while employers save on company resources, such as printer ink and paper, and can even downsize their office space or eliminate it altogether. This can result in increased profitability for a company.

4. Increased employee retention

A benefit for employers who offer flex working options is that the potential for retaining employees may increase after implementing flexible arrangements. If employees can arrange their schedule in a way that best suits them, they may experience increased job satisfaction and remain loyal to a company that prioritizes employee autonomy. Additionally, if circumstances change an employees ability to work at a companys office, such as moving to another location, a flexible working arrangement can accommodate their needs and encourage them to remain at their current job.

5. Improved recruiting strategies

As flexible work options are often available to a wide range of employees, a companys recruiting strategies may appeal to a larger group of applicants. For example, companies that operate remotely can hire people from many different locations. This allows the company to recruit from a large group of qualified candidates and may result in discovering an ideal applicant who may not have been available with a traditional recruiting strategy.

6. Increased productivity

If employees can control their work environment, theres a higher likelihood of them enjoying their work, which makes it easier for them to accomplish their goals. Reduced stress and the ability to manage distractions can improve efficiency and allow employees to meet deadlines.

What is flex working?

Flex working is a type of employment arrangement that offers employees the ability to choose where, when and how they complete their work. While some roles are more flexible than others, there are several types of flex working arrangements that companies use to satisfy their employees and effectively recruit qualified candidates.

The specific type of flex working that a company provides depends on its size, resources and the type of work it completes. However, the popularity of flexible working arrangements has increased significantly as a result of a globalized economy, improved technology and the desire of employees to work in a convenient location that suits their needs.

Types of flex working

There are several types of flex working arrangements, including:

Temporary and freelance work

This type of work usually involves an employment contract between an employer and a freelancer. The contract may state a defined period of time in which a freelancer works for a company or extend through the entirety of a particular project. Typically, freelancers are highly specialized in a certain area of expertise and support companies with specific project needs. Freelancers often set their own schedules and may charge a set amount for their services.

Seasonal work

Seasonal jobs are common in industries such as food service or retail. Companies offer these positions during busy seasons, such as summer for a swimwear company, and only last until the season concludes. For example, a retail store might hire seasonal employees to work from November through January to help accommodate the increase of shoppers visiting stores during holiday seasons.

Gig work

This type of work involves accepting a gig, or a short-term job. A typical gig is an event that only occurs once, which differentiates this work from freelance jobs. For example, a family might hire a photographer to take photos for a wedding. Each gig is a separate job with a unique client and established price.

Telecommuting

Also known as remote work, this type of flex work involves the use of telecommunication tools to access work materials, communicate with colleagues and receive updates from workplace communication channels. Some of these positions feature work that employees solely accomplish independently, but remote teams also can accomplish group projects in separate locations. Telecommuters have the option to work from any location that features a secure internet connection.

Hybrid work

Employees who work with a hybrid schedule typically split their time between a location of their choosing and their companys office. These employees may have an established schedule, such as working from the office Monday through Thursday and working from home on Friday. This can provide a bit of flexibility and helps employees foster a healthy work-life balance.

Relocation work

Some companies have multiple offices in separate locations and may allow employees to transfer to other offices within their system. This movement might attract a larger group of candidates and appeal to professionals who may want to move cities. Specific jobs that dont require employees to work in a particular location, such as telemarketing, may opt for this arrangement.

Flextime

This flex working arrangement offers employees the opportunity to change their work hours weekly. With this option, employees often still work 40 hours or more a week, but the hours in which they work may vary. For example, an employee might choose to start work at 7 a.m. and work until 3 p.m. each day, instead of working in a traditional format of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Compressed workweek

This type of schedule compresses a traditional workweek into a fewer number of days. For example, an employee may work 40 hours in four days during a particular workweek. Another compressed workweek option is a 9/80 schedule. With this schedule, employees work 80 hours, or a full two-week schedule, in nine work days instead of a traditional 10. This provides employees with one extra day off every other week.

Shift work

Some workplaces remain open longer than eight hours a day and require employees to work at all hours of the day. In these settings, employees can choose a shift that suits their lifestyle. For example, a security guard may work a nighttime shift that starts at 9 p.m. and ends at 5 a.m.

Part-time work

These work schedules generally operate similarly to shift work schedules, as employees work hours vary. These roles typically attract professionals who choose not to work a full-time job for a variety of reasons, such as attending school, raising a child or older employees who want to decrease the number of hours they work. These jobs are usually flexible regarding employee schedules and may provide valuable work experience.

Job sharing

This arrangement occurs when two employees share the workload and responsibilities of one position. Typically, each employee works part time to accomplish tasks. While collaborating, they delegate responsibilities based on each others skill sets. This employment arrangement may require a high level of communication and respect for the professional with which you share a job.

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