Remote work isn't the only way to flex
While this year has been full of ups and downs, one of the silver linings of the coronavirus pandemic is that, for the first time ever, entire workforces have experienced some sort of flexible working. It’s been fantastic to see so many workplaces testing out remote working (and seeing big benefits), and we want to highlight the other flexible work arrangements you could be using to better balance your career, family and life. So, on top of working from home, what are the other flexible work arrangements to consider?
Non-traditional hours allow employees to stagger start and finish times from the usual 9-5. For example, you could start at 7.00 and finish at 4.00, or you could start at 10.00 and finish at 6.00.
Flexible start and finish times help employees to be more productive (work when they feel their best) and better accommodate other time commitments like childcare and school pick-up requirements. When an entire team works non-traditional hours, there are usually core hours where everyone is expected to be available i.e. from 10 to 3.
A compressed work week allows employees to work additional daily hours to provide for a shorter working week or fortnight. For example, a compressed work week might look like working extra hours for 4 days to take a day off from working on Friday.
Read about how Adam makes compressed hours work here.
Job share is an increasingly popular flexible working arrangement where typically two people work part-time hours to perform the one job. Job sharing is great option to consider if you need to reduce your hours but your role isn’t adaptable to part-time hours. It can be effective at all levels, including CEO.
Finding the right partner to job share with is important and that's why Job Pair helps individuals and organisations solve for this by matching compatible people to job share and providing training and resources to be productive pairs.
You can find out more about job sharing here.
Part-time work involves fewer hours than a full-time job – usually less than 30 hours a week. Like full-time work, part-time work is a permanent position and entitled to employee benefits like annual leave and sick leave.
Part-time is one of the most commonly used flexible work arrangements. Despite this, our conversations with employees, leaders and employers tell us that there are common themes and misconceptions about working part-time hours. Read more about our debunked part-time myths here.
Purchased leave allows employees to take additional leave on top of their standard entitlements, usually four to eight weeks per year. The leave is taken for a pro-rate reduction in salary that year, at a time agreed suitable for both the employee and employer.
Unplanned leave can sometimes be taken under provisions in the Fair Work Act or can be an agreement between an employer and employee.
Employees with at least 12 months continuous service are entitled to 52 weeks of unpaid parental leave, which can also be extended for a further 52 weeks. Otherwise, employees can request unpaid leave from their employers. Leave is usually granted when it is considered reasonable and won’t negatively impact the business. This is becoming a more common flexible work arrangement as people balance their health, family time and responsibilities, travel and life ambitions.
As an employee, how do I ask for flexible work arrangements?
Flexible work is about balancing the needs of the individual with the needs of the business in order to create an effective workplace. Be clear on the benefits of flexible work to you, your team and your employer so you design a proposal that’s a win for everyone.
Understand your rights under the Fair Work Act 2009, which makes provisions for flexible work.
And, if you’d like further advice on how to ask your employer for a flexible work arrangement read this blog post and check out Job Pair’s website for more resources.