6 Types of Alternative Work Schedules
June 19, 2017
By Mike Aversa, CPA
There’s little doubt that today’s workplace is different than a generation ago. Just look at the attire, technology and scheduling. Companies and employees now have many options beyond the traditional Monday through Friday, 9am to 5pm work schedule.
Why has this change come about? There are a variety of reasons including technology, changing demographics, and new attitudes about work-life balance. Many studies have shown that given alternative scheduling options, employees have actually become more productive.
Of course, implementing an alternative work schedule depends on the type of industry your company is in, coordination among stakeholders, and clear policies for employees. Also, management needs to set clear expectations that they reserve the right to alter the schedule format or go back to a traditional one. If your company is a good candidate, consider these types of alternative schedules:
- Fixed – This is a set schedule week in and week out, though not necessarily the traditional 9 to 5. It could be 7 to 3 or 11 to 7. This might be ideal for employees who want to avoid the rush hour.
- Compressed – This entails condensing the work week while working the same number of hours. It could mean working four 10-hour days. This is a popular schedule for police and firefighters.
- Flexible – This gives employees the leeway to change their schedule week-to-week or perhaps even day-to-day, as long as they work the minimum number of required hours per week. There is, however, certain hours within the day employees may be required in the office, usually to handle some sort of peak activity. This type of schedule comes in handy for employees with childcare needs
- Job Sharing – This is where 2 part-time employees work the equivalent of 1 full-time job. This works well for students/interns as well as retirees. The employer may benefit from not being responsible for the benefits typically afforded a full-time employee.
- Telecommuting – Employees can spend part, or less-typically all, of their workday from some remote location such as home. This is a good fit for employees who work primarily electronically and can work independently.
- Results Oriented – The loosest form of alternative scheduling, employees are allowed to set the type and amount of their hours as long as they continue to meet established performance standards.
Alternative scheduling takes a commitment from both employers and employees, but you may find the benefits outweigh the risks.