What Does Flexibility Mean in the Workplace?

by | Jan 28, 2022

Companies are more frequently allowing workers to accomplish their jobs in a way that fits their lifestyles and obligations. Today, flex-working arrangements are no longer just a choice. They have become a necessity in the workplace for many job seekers. 


Over 80% of workers say that they would stay with their employers if they had flexible working arrangements. Nearly 25% of workers say they would take a 10 to 20% pay cut in exchange for flexibility. 


Different people value flexible working arrangements in different ways, depending on their lifestyles and needs. Understanding what kinds of flexible work arrangements companies can offer before beginning your job search is essential. 




What is Workplace Flexibility?


A flexible workplace considers both the interests of the employers and employees, with flexible work arrangements that encourage work-life balance. Embracing flexible arrangements helps employers attract and retain top talent while fostering a trusting, committed work environment. 


They accommodate employees’ individual working styles by providing regular feedback, coaching, and recognition.


Employees feel less stressed and can show their dedication and flexibility in various ways, such as working flexible hours and learning new skills to further their position. 


With a flexible workplace, employees can find new ways to solve problems. In a 2018 survey, 58% of employees worldwide said that they experienced an increase in employee satisfaction




Flexibility Working Arrangements at Work: What to Look For


There are numerous ways a company may offer you flexibility as an employee. The flexibility of the working agreement is determined by various factors, including industry and the size of the company. Figure out which flexible working arrangements work well for your demands and lifestyle as an employee. 




Flexible work hours


Many employers understand that employees have responsibilities outside the office. Employees may need to leave early to pick up their children from school. They may have to arrive late to work from visiting their healthcare provider in the morning. 


As a job seeker, you may want to look for opportunities with companies that allow you to choose between a few options for your working hours or that allow you to make your own hours as long as you put in 40 hours of work each week. This is more flexible, but it also encourages productivity and high-quality work.




Remote work options


Working from home is becoming increasingly popular as a viable option for office workers. Some businesses have tasks that can be completed remotely, so allowing team members to work from home a few times per week strikes a great balance. 


Remote working requires great discipline to stay focused on the task at hand and minimize distractions. 


Working remotely is convenient for employees, but it has also been shown to increase productivity. Remote work, at least a few times per month, increases productivity by 77%, with 30% performing more work in less time and 24% doing more work in the same amount of time.




Compressed workweeks


It is not a sign of less work if you work fewer hours every week. Compressed working hours reallocate ordinary working hours into fewer working days than would be possible during a regular workweek.


Four-day workweeks allow employees to work long hours every day with an extra day on the weekend to rest and enjoy personal time. Workers could also work six days a week, which would reduce their daily workload. The annual number of hours worked remains the same despite flexible work hours in both cases.




Additional Flexible Arrangements 


Other types of flexible working arrangements include:




Caregiving leave


The company allows employees to have a flexible schedule to care for their families in times of illness and reasonable need. The employee can continue to work while caring for their family and can take time off if a family member needs more intensive caregiving for an acute medical issue. 






Two or more people work part-time to complete the work someone else would do if the position were full-time. They may share an office space, computer, and other equipment. Job-sharing requires a flexible mindset for all people who need to communicate openly about the shared responsibilities and tasks of the position. 






A split shift offers flexibility in which an employee’s workday is split into two shifts. Depending on your state’s labor laws, the workday break may need to be longer than two hours to be considered a split shift.




How to Figure Out if a Flexible Job is Right For You


Now that you know about the different types of flexible work arrangements, you can begin your job search for a flexible job. The search can be successful and satisfactory if you begin with the right job search strategy.




Determine what workplace flexibility means to you


Some people may consider a flexible job a remote working job, while others may consider flexibility in terms of arriving late and leaving early to pick up their children from school. Some employees may consider a split shift a flexible working arrangement. 


Decide what flexibility means to you. This could look like working from home remotely and then coming into the office for meetings. You could also work at an office where you have some flexibility regarding work hours. Understanding what kind of flexible work arrangement best fits your professional and personal needs helps you narrow your job search. 




Understand what value you bring to a flexible job


As flexible jobs become more popular, companies look for collaborative and excellent communicators. They also want employees who are tech-savvy enough to handle basic technical issues on their own if they are remote workers. 


If you enjoyed your previous job, look for a similar position that allows flexibility. Make sure to focus on what past experiences and strengths play into your role. In your job application, you can highlight how you managed a project remotely from start to finish using various online collaboration tools while your manager was away on vacation. 


You might, however, decide to start over and make a job change. Consider what line of work you enjoy and how you can reposition your experiences to meet the needs of your job and company. 




Get some insider information about flexible jobs


Ask family and friends about the environment in their workplaces and how their flexible jobs work for them. This gives you an idea of what flexible arrangements you should look for.  


Alternatively, LinkedIn is an excellent resource for reaching out to former employees at your target companies and asking about their experiences working in flexible work environments. 




Ask for a flexible job at your current workplace, if possible


To see if you can have a flexible schedule at your current company, read your employee handbook to see if there is a flexible work policy. You may need to obey certain guidelines, such as the ability to leave work early as long as you refrain from taking time off during the busy season. 


Once you decide on a workable flexible schedule, arrange a time to speak with your employer about it. Discuss how your flexible work schedule can benefit the company. For instance, prove you can take on more responsibilities if you’re working remotely than commuting to the office during the workweek. 


Offer to set up a trial period to see if the arrangement works for you and your employer. By keeping open communication and tracking your results, you show you are committed and loyal during your arrangement. 




A Flexible Job Might Be Right for You


There may be times when you may have to change your flexible schedule according to the company’s needs and your lifestyle, whether it’s a time crunch for a project or if your child becomes sick. When you have a good attitude and communicate your value in the workplace, you can achieve more flexibility in your career.


If you are in the job market for a new flexible job, refer to Jobsfuel.com. Our job search tool lets you find your next dream job by filtering keywords or locations. Once you find the position that interests you, use our online resources to customize your resume and cover letter for the job.