Here’s a list of flexible work options for employees in 2022 — plus details on how to implement them.
COVID-19 has changed how many people do their jobs. Shutdowns forced workers out of their offices and into their homes, forcing companies to rethink workday structure. Employees at some businesses even expressed interest in working from home permanently. Who can blame them? The past 18 months have brought plenty of stress and strife, along with potential glimpses at a healthier work/life balance.
Perhaps the greatest aspect of flexible work is the understanding behind it. Flexible schedules leave room for life to happen. Need to take 2 days off for a minor medical procedure? Let your bosses know and do it! Employees who don’t have to fear for their jobs over 1 or 2 sick days are likely to be happier, more productive, and more efficient employees.
Considering switching to a more flexible work model? Here’s a definitive list of options.
Hybrid workplaces are becoming increasingly popular, with over 60% of high-growth companies implementing such work models.
Allowing employees to adhere to a hybrid work model simply means permitting a mix between working from home or at the office. Hybrid workplaces are becoming increasingly popular, with over 60% of high-growth companies implementing such work models.
Some industries, such as those encompassing trade jobs and manual labor, will have a tougher time making a hybrid model work. But most businesses with digital components (so most businesses) can easily find ways to switch to a hybrid work model.
This is one that may make traditional managers bristle. It goes against everything Americans are taught about work, work ethic, and productivity. However, other parts of the world, particularly many European countries, are seeing that these fears are unfounded. Some countries, such as Iceland, have adopted this approach — with amazing results. Even before COVID, the business of everyday life demanded more time than employers were willing to give. Now, as the pandemic continues to rage and every day is more unpredictable than the last, employers face workers who need time away from their jobs to take care of family. And that’s valid.
There’s been some pushback on this, primarily because many managers have trouble divorcing themselves from the productivity they associate with a 9 to 5 workday. Many companies are hesitant to put this into practice because they fear profits will drop, morale will falter or dissipate, and productivity will decrease dramatically. Nevertheless, some are already calling compressed workweeks “the future of work.” Whether or not you subscribe to that line of thinking, the data is clear: shorter workweeks make happier employees. It is certainly worth considering.
Telecommuting is slightly different from straight-up remote work. Where working remotely doesn’t require workers to be geographically close to their company’s local office or headquarters, telecommuters ideally need to live close enough to be able to be physically present when/if necessary. Think of it as a “come in if necessary” kind of work arrangement. In that sense, it’s much closer to a hybrid model than it is to remote positions.
If your company does offer telecommuting positions, it is important to remember to ensure that those employees have what they need to do their jobs securely.
The advent of the internet made remote work possible. Remote work is exactly what it sounds like it is — work that does not and will not require you to be at your employer’s office. That means employees can conduct meetings, conferences, etc. all via phone or video conferencing software, like Zoom. You will generally communicate over things such as Slack, Trello, email, or other tools that allow employers and employees to get in touch quickly without needing to carve out time for a phone call.
The biggest downside to remote work is that your employees may feel distant from their coworkers and collaboration might be more difficult. Get that figured out, though, and you can have an incredibly solid team of happy, communicative employees.
A flextime work model has a ton of potential as long as you have systems in place for holding employees accountable. Basically, with flextime, you set your own hours and make your own schedule. There’s a considerable amount of freedom — but you must work the number of hours you agreed to work when you were onboarded.
Flextime schedules have a slightly higher chance of backfiring or being less effective, but only if you don’t have ways of making sure work is getting done. However, an employee who works when/how they want and completes their tasks efficiently and in a is a dream for managers.
In the United States, part-time work generally ranges from 25-34 hours per week, although technically even just an hour’s worth of work is also considered part-time. Part-time work is a useful model for employers looking to fill a need or function that doesn’t require full-time employees. By that same token, employees looking for supplemental income can turn to part-time work to beef up their resumes and make some extra cash.
Students and parents tend to gravitate toward part-time work if they can manage it, because it doesn’t take them away from their other responsibilities for long periods of time.
Job sharing is a flexible work arrangement that sees 2 part-time employees combining experience and skillsets to do a job that one full-timer would normally do.
There are numerous benefits to a job-sharing model. In addition to it being flexible, it’s also a great option for companies who have had trouble finding people eager to work full-time hours. This way, they can more easily employ 2 part-time employees. Additionally, if one of those part-time employees needs time off but the other can still work their scheduled hours, then managers don’t have to worry about incomplete tasks.
Job sharing is a flexible work arrangement that sees 2 part-time employees combining experience and skillsets to do a job.
Good, clear communication is especially important in a job sharing work model. Employers need to be clear about their expectations, and employees need to know exactly what they are supposed to be doing.
Lastly, another upside to the job sharing model is the reduced hours. This can do wonders for well-being and can actually reduce the number of absences.