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In the context of the global pandemic, corporations are considering new ways of managing staff members and structuring work. Facebook, for instance, is planning to make the transition towards a permanent remote workplace, which represents a drastic move considering that the online social media and social networking service used to embrace an office-centric culture. It follows the trend started by other organizations that let employees work from home forever if they want to. Employees are given greater freedom in terms of how they meet the obligations of their positions. If in the past employers were reluctant to offer this benefit for their staff, now they fully embrace the idea.
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Flexible working arrangements, defined
A flexible working arrangement refers to scheduling that doesn’t present the constraints of a traditional job. Employees get to decide when and how they will carry out their responsibilities whilst maintaining high levels of quality that is demanded by supervisors and employers. If you have a flexible schedule, you’re able to meet personal and family needs. Most importantly, you can achieve a healthier work-life balance. The aim of the flexible working arrangement is to create a win-win situation and get the most out of the current situation.
Common flexible working arrangements include:
- Compressed work weeks
- Alternating locations
Let’s take a look at the advantages for employees that a flexible working arrangement provides
The digital age makes possible flexible scheduling and work-from-home arrangements. There are advantages for employers who choose to allow flexible working arrangements, but let’s focus a little bit on what employees have to gain from choosing their particular hours of work.
More control over what employees want
More often than not, employees feel that they don’t have a voice in the office, which can lead to a lack of morale. They feel disconnected and powerless at the same time and even planning to change jobs in the near future. Handing over the reins and giving employees makes them happier. Just think about it. Nobody tells you what to do anymore, as you can organize your schedule in whatever way you want. You can attend a parent-teacher conference during the day and make up for the lost time in the evening or even the next day.
No expenses to commute to the workplace
In addition to the time lost in the commute, there is the issue of cost. Public transportation is no longer affordable because buses and trams are bigger, which in turn generates higher operating costs per mile per passenger. Ridesharing isn’t what it used to be either. Services like Uber are counting on the fact that clients are willing to dig deep into their pockets and fares have gone up considerably. In O’Fallon Mo, for example, the minimum charge is $6,3. If employees are provided the liberty to adjust the days and hours of being in the office, or work remotely, they wouldn’t spend so much money on commuting.
Cutting the cost of commuting to work allows you to push for important investments. You could, say, go to a used car dealer O Fallon MO and get your own ride. Traveling in a private car is recommended given the fact that the coronavirus continues to spread at a rapid pace. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that it’s best to drive your personal car to work. If you’re working from home every now and then, but you still have to go to the office to fulfill your work responsibilities, it would be helpful to have your own vehicle.
Lower childcare costs
In the context of the global pandemic and the decision of authorities to close educational institutions, many parents are put in the situation of securing childcare support. They usually take their kids with them to the office, which increases the risk of exposure to COVID-19. If the corporation doesn’t have an on site childcare center, there is a big problem. Working from home with children isn’t the ideal situation, but it’s better than nothing. You can keep a close eye on your loved ones while meeting your responsibilities.
Can flexible working arrangements be applied to any type of job?
Flexible working arrangements work in the vast majority of situations. Regrettably, they’re not suitable for every type of job. Examples of must-show workers include restaurant and retail workers. They must be present when they’re needed. What is more, the operating hours restrict their flexibility. Laboratory monitoring, security services, and facilities maintenance are other examples of jobs that require the work to be realized on site. People require access to equipment or information that is available exclusively on campus.
An increase in flexible working doesn’t automatically usher in equality. Indeed, it’s unfair for those working in the aforementioned fields, but solutions can be found. Take the compressed work week as an example. Employees can negotiate their working hours, which means that they don’t have to work the traditional 5-day week. It’s up to the organization to decide if it agrees to such an arrangement. You have to build up the courage to ask your boss for a flexible working arrangement. Who knows? The answer may be positive. If you like the in-person, social interaction, you mightn’t mind coming to work.
Flexible working arrangements comprise the following elements:
- Flexible working hours – Employees are able to work different time shifts, bypassing the traditional 9 am to 5 pm.
- Flexible time off – This includes paid time off and long-term leave. Employees can take time off when they like to without having to explain what they did in the meantime.
- Flexible location – Employees can collaborate from various locations and different countries. They can even work in their cars if they think they will be more productive that way.
The COVID-19 pandemic has contributed to the rise of flexible work arrangements. Many have abandoned their old habits and, owing to breakthrough communication technologies like Zoom and Skype, it’s no longer necessary to be in the office all day long. Most types of work can be done effectively from a home office. Flexible working may actually be the new normal after the virus.