Flexitime is essentially an arrangement between employers and employees, which allows for the negotiation of hours of work around a core time. It is a work schedule that varies, in contrast to traditional work arrangements having the need of employees working a standard 9am to 5pm a day. Flexibility takes different shapes and it is all about finding new ways to achieve success in an increasingly complex world.
This not only includes employees having more choices in when to work but also the amount of working hours is adapted to fit the employees. There are also more choices in where to work through having the options to work from places other than the office all or some of the time, this being occasionally or on a regular basis. Last but not least, employees have more freedom about how to do the work; meaning the employee is able and given the chance to figure out the best way to get the job done.
Flexitime is able to aid the recruitment and retention of employees. It is also able to help provide employers cover outside normal working hours and reduce the need for overtime. In addition to that, flexitime can also improve the provision of equal opportunities to employees that are unable to work the standard hours. (http://www.flexibility.co.uk)
There are three main types of work flexibility.
The first being flexible location, mainly known as home working or telecommuting. This process known as working from home or telecommuting is usually done on a regular basis or intermittently with the aid of computers, fax machines, the internet, phone and other forms of telecommunication equipment. It helps avoid time-consuming activities of having to travel to work which contributes to traffic congestion during peak hours, petrol costs, pollution, and so on. With this kind of flexibility in working hours, employees are able to work at the hours which they feel they are most productive at. Employees are also able to manage their own workload with their home or parental responsibilities around and still keep up with their leisure interests. It also helps the company save on overheads like rental and furniture costs.
Secondly, there is flexible time, which is most commonly found forms of non-standard or flexible hours. Flexible hours or "flexitime" schemes are like a schedule that permits employees to choose their start and end times. This however, does require a standard number of hours during a five-day week, within a given time period. Part-time employment is also part of the flexitime scheme. These part-timers have less involvement and work less than the standard or customary time, but at the same time, they help to fill the gaps when extra staffing is needed or when during peak periods.
Some employees prefer to work part-time due to other responsibilities like their household work or for some, their children. These part-time workers are also known as peripheral workers. They are not the core workers of the organisation so there is less security in their job, because during any given crisis, these peripheral workers or part-timers will be the first ones to leave the organisations, rather than the core workers. Job sharing is known as two part-time employees' voluntarily sharing one full-time position with salary and benefits prorated. This became famous because some female workers who returned from their maternity leave do not wish to work full time anymore but at the same time would still want to continue their careers, whereas working a reduced number of hours. Another extension of flexible time is annualized hours. This could either be part-time or compressed schedules that involve a given number of hours a year, rather than a given number of hours a week. The employees work for the number of hours they are being contracted for with a guaranteed payment. (http://www.flexpaths.com)
Last but not least, there are some contractual based arrangements which are known as flexible contracts....
Bibliography: 1) Andy Lake, 'Introducing Flexible Work ', Copyright Flexibility.co.uk Ltd, 2000 - 2009
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