“Flexible working”, “Flexi-time” and “Work-Life Balance” are all phrases that you may have heard, but what do they actually mean, what is flexible working and how can it work for you?
All of these phrases are used to describe any sort of working pattern that can be adapted to suit your needs. There are many types of flexible working available and it is advisable for both the employer and employee to sit down and work out which is best suited to all parties. Some of the more common schemes include:
- Part time: where you work less then your normal hours, maybe even cutting down the number of days you are working.
- Flexi time: where you are given a set of “core hours” where you have to be at work but being able to choose when you do the rest of your contracted hours.
- Compressed hours: where you work the same amount of hours but in fewer days. (This option can mean you working very long days).
- Job sharing: where a job designed for one person, is held by two people and sharing the salary.
- Annualised hours: where your hours are worked out over a year, this is often done by giving you set shifts over busier periods and allowing you to choose when to make up the other hours.
- Staggered hours: where you and your work colleagues start and finish at different times, and take your breaks at separate times to split the load of work throughout the day.
- Working from Home: where you work at home, giving you more flexibility as you remove travel times.
Although any employee can ask for flexible working times, there are certain employees that have a statutory right to request a more flexible working pattern. To qualify they have to meet set criteria and even then, there are conditions to meet – for more information see our article “work-life balance – employee benefits“.
As well as benefiting the employee asking for more flexible working hours, there are significant benefits to the companies as well, for more information see our article “work-life balance – employer benefits“.