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The main characteristics of work flexibility

patri    (Posted: August 5, 2019)
Reading Time: 3 minutes

In Wisar, we work with companies who offer flexible job opportunities with regards to schedule, holidays and location. There are many ways of applying flexible work practices but here are the main stand-out features of a flexible job opportunity:

1. Make work schedules more flexible

The idea of flexible hours is not associated with working fewer hours but with better management of the worker’s time; a factor which directly affects their performance.

Flexible schedules give workers greater freedom when deciding their work start and end times. This benefit allows them to take advantage of the most productive moments and also fulfil personal and family needs.

Schedule flexibility also improves the company’s ability to attract talent, reduce staff turnover, lower absenteeism and improve the work environment.

When implementing schedule flexibility in a company, there are a number of different possibilities:

  • Fixed-variable schedule. The company offers different schedule options to the worker and they choose one. Subsequently, this becomes their fixed schedule.
    Floating schedule. The company has a defined timeframe for work start and end times, maintaining a core of obligatory working hours in the middle of the day.
    Free schedule: Workers manage their time freely. Normally this option is linked to the fulfilment of specific company objectives expected of the worker.

2. Work based on objectives 

This method involves measuring the performance of a worker based on defined goals or objectives and not on time spent on the task. This means that time management becomes the responsibility of the worker, who takes complete control over their own working day based on agreed objectives.  

Some of the benefits of this work flexibility are that it contributes to efficiency, motivates the worker and improves the control of results.

Work based on objectives offers the worker the flexibility of working from any location and to any schedule, provided that the task is fulfilled. It may entail total or partial schedule flexibility. 

In this case, it is essential to specify in detail the goals to be achieved and the timings to be met, as well as following up and monitoring results. This ensures that expectations are aligned on both sides, thereby guaranteeing the success of the project.

3. Teleworking

Teleworking is one of the most common characteristics of schedule flexibility. This refers to working in a different location to that of a company’s physical offices.

There are jobs that do not require being in the office either physically or virtually. Either jobs that are linked to the location where the work is being carried out, or jobs that are carried out completely individually and there is no need to connect to a team of workers.   

Working remotely is one of the most common methods of distance working. Many of the tasks that are performed daily in an office do not require the physical presence of the worker, but do need a stable internet connection to maintain an online connection with the rest of the team.

Any work than can be done using a laptop connected to the internet can be done remotely. Here are some examples from different sectors: Salespeople who work outside the office, digital nomads who work from another country of residence, parents who work from home…  

Once working remotely becomes a real likelihood, different options can be proposed depending on location and dedication to the idea. There are infinite options: working from home, using coworking spaces, working in cafeterias, while travelling…The work could be done 100% remotely or it could just be for one or two days a week, depending on the negotiation and agreement of the concerned parties.

These features of job flexibility offer the company benefits such as reductions in moving costs, office space and consumption costs of the office… and an increase in productivity. 77% of workers, who work remotely on average twice per month, report a significant increase in productivity, according to a study recently conducted by ConnectSolutions.

4. Self-management of holidays

Another feature of flexibility in the workplace is trusting the worker to manage their holidays / leave. This feature of job flexibility, like flexible scheduling, allows the worker the freedom to decide when they need to take a break or when they want to be focussed on a project. This has a positive effect on the performance of the worker and helps to create a good working environment and mutual trust.

An example explained in the last blog, “Trust in your employees – the key to your company’s success” is Netflix. This company is committed to the self-management of holidays, offering unlimited holiday days to its workers. In this way, each worker decides when and how many days holiday to take.

What features of flexibility in the workplace stand out for you? Share with us your experiences of offering flexible opportunities in your company and contact our team for any advice.