As workers demand better work-life balance, a growing number of employers are implementing flexible work schedules. But what is a flex schedule, exactly?
Rather than the traditional 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. or 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., flex schedules allow employees to work the hours and days that best suit their lifestyles while still completing a 40-hour workweek.
Having a flex schedule is now viewed as a priority employee benefit by both candidates and existing team members—and you can position it as such to strengthen and grow your business! It can benefit your business by:
Appealing to more candidates and widening your talent pool
- Increasing employee satisfaction and retention
- Boosting employee productivity thanks to higher engagement and better coverage
- Reducing insurance, rent, utility, and office equipment costs
With several types of flex schedules to choose from, you can opt for one that works best for your company’s operations and industry. Check out these eight alternative work schedule examples that are becoming increasingly popular among today’s more progressive organizations.
1. Four Day Workweek
As one type of compressed workweek, the four-day workweek is growing in popularity worldwide. This typically entails employees working four 10-hour days. Many professionals love this flexible work schedule as it allows them an extra day to spend as they please.
Depending on your business operations, you may let employees take three consecutive days or any three days that work for them. This is also a great way to ensure you have coverage for all essential roles, especially if you run a 24/7 operation. And team members will love the freedom of a third day off.
2. 9/80 Work Schedule
The 9/80 schedule is another kind of compressed work week. This breaks down two work weeks into eight nine-hour days, one eight-hour day made up of two four-hour periods, and one day off. Basically, employees “earn” two days off a month.
An example 9/80 work schedule may look like this:
- Monday-Thursday: Work 8 a.m.-12 p.m., 1-hour lunch, work 1 p.m.-6 p.m.
- Friday: Work 8 a.m.-12 p.m., 1-hour lunch, work 1 p.m.-5 p.m. (second week begins at second period)
- Monday-Thursday: Work 8 a.m.-12 p.m., 1-hour lunch, work 1 p.m.-6 p.m.
- Friday: Day off
You can set the hours according to what works best for your business and employees, such as 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. It just needs to consist of four days with nine hours of work each day.
Both employers and employees can benefit from this uniquely flexible work schedule. Employees feel motivated to work hard toward their day off, and employers can set a schedule that guarantees adequate coverage.
For example, if you feel you can’t give the whole team Friday off, you can allow half the team to take off Friday and the other half to take off Monday.
3. Flexible Daily Schedules
Perhaps you want to give employees more leeway and let them set their own hours. If your business or certain roles don’t rely on team members being in the office at specific hours, you may allow people to come and go as they please as long as they meet their hours and deadlines.
If you need to ensure consistent coverage, you could allow employees to set their hours which becomes their regular schedule. For example, someone could work 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. or 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Or you could permit somewhat flexible job schedules in which employees work during essential hours, such as 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., with the option to come in early and leave early, come in later and leave later, or take extra time at lunch they make up.
4. Alternative Schedules
Do you have jobs that can be done on an alternative schedule, such as the second shift, overnight shift, or weekends? These flexible work schedules could appeal to those who can’t work standard schedules due to child care, personal matters, or other jobs.
Plus, you can continue operations during non-traditionial hours. Certain tasks are even easier to complete on an alternative schedule, such as some warehouse jobs and deliveries.
5. Remote Work
The beauty of remote work is it can look so many different ways! It can be flexplace, when employees have the option to work remotely certain hours or days of the week.
Perhaps you allow telecommuting, which involves the employee working remotely and from the office as they choose or is agreed upon. This could include working from home or from a coworking space, which is great for companies with geographically spread-out teams that don’t want to rent an office.
Some companies even offer snowbirding programs, allowing employees to work from a warm location during the winter months. This is a great way to attract more candidates of all ages.
Of course, you can also have a 100% remote team. This is becoming more common among national and global companies whose business doesn’t rely on their physical location. Remote work can open you up to top talent worldwide.
Just keep in mind that a remote workforce requires effective communication channels, from chat to video conferencing, to ensure positive morale and productivity.
6. Part-time Positions
Offering more part-time positions reduces your number of full-time employees and offer flexibility for those who can’t work a full-time job, such as students, those caring for family members, or partially retired professionals. As the name implies, part-time employees work fewer hours or days than full-time workers.
It’s critical to classify and pay part-time employees appropriately. Typically, they are non-exempt, meaning they’re paid hourly and eligible for overtime. Failing to classify and pay employees correctly can lead to lawsuits and hefty penalties.
7. Job Sharing
Job sharing refers to splitting the responsibilities of a full-time job between two part-time employees. The two employees divide their workweek to complete a job or task.
As an employer, you can benefit from work sharing by having an assigned job covered even when one team member is absent. This way, you can avoid the hassle of finding alternate coverage for an important job or project.
When utilizing job sharing, leadership should be sure to distribute the time and responsibilities fairly in job sharing situations.
8. Additional Paid Time Off
Consider giving employees extra or even unlimited paid time off. This appeals to the younger members of today’s workforce who can achieve their flexible work schedules and work-life balance with PTO they can use as desired.
When you do give additional or unlimited PTO, you should have a policy around it outlining expectations and guidelines on submitting time off requests.
Maintain a Modern Workplace with Flexible Work Schedules
Flexible work scheduling is one of the most effective ways employers can foster a positive work environment. You can attract and retain talented, loyal team members while ensuring you have all the necessary positions and shifts covered.
Flex schedules don’t need to be complicated, either. By evaluating your company’s needs and operations, you can determine what kind of workweek works best for you and your team. And with solid policies and processes in place, you’ll set clear guidelines and expectations for all employees from Day 1.
Need support as you choose the best flexible work schedule for your organization? Contact BlueLion today at firstname.lastname@example.org or 603-818-4131 for assistance and to learn about our outsourced HR projects, which can offer all the guidance you need to build a happy and engaged team!
The information on this website, including its newsletters, is not, nor is it intended to be legal advice. You should contact an attorney or HR specialist for advice on your individual situation.