Flexible Work Arrangements Benefits (With Types and Advantages)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 13 September 2022 | Published 4 October 2021

Updated 13 September 2022

Published 4 October 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Flexible work arrangements are rising in popularity as a way to improve employee work-life balance, and employers may also use flexible schedules to make their organisations more attractive to new talent. Besides offering several benefits to employees, flexible work schedules can also make managers more efficient and increase productivity when used effectively. If you're in a management role or interested in applying for a role with flexible arrangements, learning more about this concept could help you determine if it's something you want to pursue.

In this article, we discuss the advantages and disadvantages of flexible work arrangements and how to maximise the gains of this policy.

What are flexible work arrangements benefits?

Flexible work arrangement benefits are the rewards employees and employers gain from using the policy. Before outlining these benefits, it's important to understand the meaning of a flexible working schedule. Flexible working arrangements can refer to flexibility in the location and work hours of employees.

A variant of this strategy is to allow employees to work remotely, either from home, coworking spaces or any other location of their choice. The arrangement can also involve allowing employees to choose when to go to the office, so long as they complete their work hours. Some organisations allow their employees to do both, so they can choose their location and work hours, provided they complete their tasks.

Types of flexible work arrangements

Remote work is one of the most popular forms of flexible work arrangement, but it may not be suitable for every organisation or employee. Here are other types of flexible work arrangements:

Compressed work weeks

Instead of remote work, some organisations allow their employees to compress their duties into a four-day week in place of the traditional five-day week. To do this, employees work longer hours but fewer days. For example, in this arrangement, you may work for 10 hours per day and get three days off work.

Flexible starting and closing hours

Another option is to allow team members to choose when to start and close for the day. For example, an employee may decide to start work by 12 p.m. and close by 6 p.m. With this arrangement, employees start work based on the time that suits them best. Besides boosting performance, this strategy can also help employees avoid rush hour and better manage personal affairs, such as childcare.

Job sharing and part-time hours

Some jobs don't require employees to work full time and some people may prefer not to work full time. For example, people with other commitments, such as those pursuing an education, may not be able to complete 40 hour work weeks. Employers looking to find more talent can share such positions between two or more part-time workers.

Related: Everything You Should Know About Working From Home

Benefits of flexible work arrangements for employees

Here are some of the benefits of flexible work arrangements for employees:

Improves work-life balance

With a flexible arrangement, you may choose the location and time of your work, which can lead to improved work-life balance. This means you can better schedule your work and movement to the most convenient time for maximum efficiency and productivity. For example, employees can avoid the morning rush hour by scheduling their workday to start around 11 a.m. Likewise, employees with kids can choose a work schedule that makes it easier to pick their children from school and spend more time with them.

Related: Tips for Better Work-Life Balance

Increases job satisfaction

Flexible work arrangements can also increase employees' job satisfaction. This is because they're in more control and often have the freedom to choose the best way to deliver work-related tasks. Employees that enjoy higher job satisfaction can be valuable assets to their organisations because they often have higher performance and productivity compared to people who don't get fulfilment from their jobs.

Related: What Are the Pros and Cons of Working at a Startup Company?

Promotes professional development

Employees with flexible work schedules typically find it easier to advance their professional and educational development. It's much easier for such people to pursue professional training or advanced degrees in their fields. Because they're able to improve their skills and knowledge while keeping their jobs, such employees may also find it easier to get into more senior roles and achieve their career goals faster than less qualified people.

Enhances healthy living

It's easier for employees who have flexible work schedules to enjoy better quality health. One way flexible working arrangements help achieve this is that it allows employees to prioritise their wellbeing through remote work. They can avoid lengthy commutes, see the doctor on time and get rest to avoid burnout and stress.

Boosts productivity

Employees who have flexible work schedules also tend to be more productive. They know the ideal time to achieve maximum performance and the place where they can complete vital tasks with minimal distraction. Because such employees also have better work-life balance and improved job satisfaction, they can also maintain higher levels of motivation to stay committed to delivering on their duties.

Increases employee loyalty

Employees who can work flexibly may be more loyal to their employer. Allowing people to control when and where to work demonstrates trust in their professionalism. Since this type of arrangement also provides benefits such as better work-life balance and opportunities for professional development, employees are more likely to stay committed to such jobs than less flexible roles.

Benefits of flexible work arrangements for employers

Here are some of the benefits of flexible work arrangements for employers:

Increases engagement

Allowing employees to work with flexible schedules can improve engagement. One way to increase engagement is by empowering employees and respecting them. Flexible work arrangements can help achieve this because it puts employees in control of their work and demonstrates your trust in their ability to deliver without supervision. Higher engagement can improve leadership qualities and enhance employees' problem-solving skills.

Enhances talent recruitment

Managers that offer flexible work schedules and arrangements can make their organisations more attractive to candidates. Flexible working arrangements offer benefits, such as remote work and work-life balance. These advantages can make candidates choose an employer over one that doesn't offer such benefits.

Increases employee retention

A flexible working arrangement can make employees loyal and committed to working for a company long term. Flexible working arrangements offer several benefits that can add value to employees' career progression and private lives. So as a manager looking to reduce turnover rate, one strategy to make employees continue working for you is to give them more control over where and when they work.

Lowers expenses

Offering employees flexible work schedules can help reduce workplace expenses. When employees work remotely or fewer days per week, the amount of supplies and energy they use in the office reduces. In places where employees can work remotely every day, employers can save more on office space and other expenses.

Boosts attendance

Allowing employees to have flexible schedules can reduce absenteeism and boost attendance and punctuality. Employees that have access to this programme can work remotely and choose when to start and stop work. This makes it easier for them to accommodate private needs, such as caring for a sick relative or going to a dentist's appointment, which can cause disruptions that can force them to be absent or late for work.

Related: How to Search for Remote Work on Indeed

Disadvantages of flexible working arrangements

While flexible working arrangements offer many benefits for employees, managers and organisations, there are some potential disadvantages to consider. Here are some of the potential cons of flexible working arrangements:

Difficult collaboration

Having employees who have flexible working arrangements and those who work fully in the office can make collaboration difficult. Because some employees choose their own work hours and location, people in the office may adapt their schedule to work with them on the same projects and tasks. One way to make teamwork more efficient is through technological tools for location-independent collaboration and prioritising meetings on days employees with flexible schedules are in the office.

Reduced efficiency and productivity

If you don't manage your time effectively, it can be difficult to achieve optimal productivity and efficiency. Some people require supervision to achieve maximum productivity and others may work in the office to avoid distraction and stay disciplined to complete tasks. To prevent performance from dropping, some employees with flexible work schedules may require periodic follow-up.

Reduced work-life balance

While one of the goals of flexible work schedules is to increase employee work-life balance, it can also lead to the opposite. With some flexible schedules, you may work too many hours. To avoid burnout and dissatisfaction, it's important to manage your time and set clear boundaries if you work flexibly.

Increased chances of misunderstanding among loves ones

If you work from home or enjoy other forms of flexible working arrangements, your loved ones may believe you're now more available to them. This can occasionally lead to disruptions during the time you're supposed to spend on office duties. Having a dedicated home office can reduce this problem, but you can also let your family know your boundaries regarding work.

Likelihood of office conflict

For a flexible work arrangement to work, the policy has to be fair to all employees. If only some employees qualify for flexible work schedules and others work from the office every day, this can lead some people to think the organisation is treating them unfairly. To avoid such issues, it's important to allow every employee that wants to be a part of the programme to participate.

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