Prior to the pandemic employees were already looking for new incentives to keep themselves motivated and engaged including the most popular one flexible working arrangements.
From an employers point of view offering flexible working means that there are some hurdles to be overcome. These can include the feeling that not making full use of the office space that they have invested in is a waste of money and secondly how can they make sure that their employees are being productive if they are not continually supervising them?
Due to the pandemic many more employees are working from home employers have had to change their mindset to embrace this. For example instead of measuring the amount of hours spent at their desks they need to measure their employees productivity. Previous research into flexible working arrangements showed that employees have a greater degree of job satisfaction and higher productivity rates when they work away from the office.
It is true that flexible working arrangements do not work for every business especially if face-to-face contact with clients is important. However during the pandemic many businesses are getting around this by setting up Zoom meetings with their clients.
Flexible Work Locations:
Offering flexible work arrangements will include work locations. Employees can work in the office part of the week and from outside the office the remainder of the week whether it be at home or at another remote location of their choice. Alternatively they can work entirely out of the office and just be in the office for special training, staff meetings or special events. One advantage to this system is that employers do not have to hire talented workers who live locally instead they can hire from the best talent available in the industry wherever they live.
Instead of the 9-5 schedule required in the office employers can allow workers to set their own eight hour work day within a 12 hour period, or they can work 10 hour days for four days a week. This schedule could be subject to change after a 3 or 6 month time period depending upon the requirements of the company.
Job sharing allows two employees to share one full time job. Sometimes an employer cannot find a person to work full time but can find two employees who can share the tasks which often happens in businesses that hire from an employee pool including students, mothers and seniors. The benefit of this to the employer is that they often do not have to pay the same benefits to part time workers that they pay to their full time staff thereby saving on overhead. The downside is that the employer will responsible for coordinating the work between the two employees to make sure that all the required tasks are completed and that everyone is on the same page.
Although flexible working comes with advantages and disadvantages for both employers and employees these arrangements were becoming more popular but the outbreak of Covid-19 has seen an unprecedented move from office to home working. It will now remain to be seen how many companies will continue to have their employees working remotely.
From an article by Alyssa Gregory
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