- Talent Management
In a recent post, we explored flexible work options as they exist in today’s corporate environment. The Wall Street Journal highlighted the fact that while many companies currently have some semblance of flexibility, many employees don’t take advantage.
With that in mind, it can be valuable to do an in-depth exploration of some of today’s most popular flexible work options, along with tips for implementation.
Compressed Work Week
The compressed work week is a pretty simple concept – it means employees work three or four days a week, as compared to five. One of the most popular compressed work week options is taking Fridays off. Some businesses may also offer Flex Fridays, where employees can decide whether they’ll work at home or in the office. This concept combines a bit of the compressed work week with telecommuting.
The compressed work week can be a great benefit for some employees, but others may actually find it challenging because they’re forced to fit more work into a tighter time frame.
Along with a compressed work week there may also come longer days, so maybe 10-hour shifts, four days a week, as compared to eight hour days five days a week.
At the same time, some organizations may not require that employees fit 40 hours into a week, and instead may go with a full-time schedule consisting of 32-35 hours.
A few tips if you’re considering a compressed work week option for employees:
Job sharing is a flexible work option that as of right now tends to go more under the radar than some more talked about options.
So what is it?
In simplest form, it’s when two employees work part-time to complete the work that would otherwise be the responsibility of one full-time employee. The U.S. Department of Labor describes it in this way:
Job sharing means that two (or more) workers share the duties of one full-time job, each working part time, or two or more workers who have unrelated part-time assignments share the same budget line. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) does not address job sharing. Job sharing is a matter of agreement between an employer and an employee (or the employee’s representative).
The benefits of job sharing are said to include increased morale and productivity. Job sharing can also be an attractive way to recruit new employees and retain current ones. In order for a job sharing arrangement to be successful, however, both individuals must be able to handle the position as efficiently as one person.
While many flexible work options seem to be something younger and Millennial employees are most interested in, phased retirement is something that’s piquing the interest of older and senior employees.
The federal government recently enacted a phased retirement option for employees.
With phased retirement employees can start working part-time schedules while they begin to draw retirement benefits.
Employers favor the idea because it allows them to develop stronger mentorship programs for newer and less experienced employees. Under the federal program, employees taking advantage of this option are required to spend 20 percent of their time mentoring less experienced employees.
Another benefit of phased retirement is that it serves as a compromise between employees who are reluctant to retire and the need for businesses to bring in younger employees.
Telecommuting is one of the most commonly utilized flex work options. Employees who telecommute may work from home or even their local coffee shop one day a week when they choose or in some cases all the time.
Let us know what you think about these flexible work options and whether or not you think they’re feasible options in the long-term.
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