Types of flexible work

Employees can ask to change their work arrangements, place, hours or days.

Benefits of flexible work arrangements

Flexible work arrangements can help employees balance their job with their responsibilities outside of work, manage health conditions or move to a new town without having to change employer.

For employers, flexible work arrangements can: 

  • retain skilled employees and reduce recruitment costs
  • raise employee morale and decrease absenteeism
  • meet labour market changes more effectively. 

Employers may also offer flexible working as a reasonable accommodation. For more information about reasonable accommodations, see:

The hiring process

Types of flexible work

Flexible work arrangements can mean changing:

  • the times or days an employee works, for example, working part-time instead of full-time, or changing shifts or days of work
  • how employees do their work, for example, job-sharing
  • where an employee works, for example, from home
  • when an employee starts or finishes work.

Flexible work hours

  • Flexi-time/adjusted hours — employees work for an agreed total number of hours but can choose when their work day begins and ends. They may need to be at work during set core hours, for example, 10am to 4pm.
  • Time in lieu/time banking — any extra hours worked are compensated for by paid time off.
  • Flexi-breaks — stopping for breaks at times that suit the employee’s particular workload or preferences.
  • Part-time/reduced hours/job sharing/job splitting — working less than full-time hours. The job may be re-designed, or responsibilities shared with other part-time employees.

Flexible weekly work pattern 

Allows for more days off, fewer days commuting, or more time to manage other responsibilities without reducing the hours worked.

  • Compressed week — weekly full-time hours are worked over a shorter time period.
  • Weekday/weekend swap — swap working on a weekday for working on a weekend day.
  • Weeks on/weeks off — working 1 or several weeks and taking 1 or several weeks off.

Flexible yearly work pattern 

Provides options to take limited or extended time off from work to manage family or personal responsibilities.

  • Term-time working — working during the school terms and taking paid or unpaid time off during school holidays.
  • Annualised hours — working an agreed number of hours on a yearly rather than a weekly basis.
  • Buyable leave — exchanging an agreed reduction in salary for extra periods of leave over a specified period. 

Flexible career options 

Provides options to structure an employee’s career around other interests or responsibilities.

  • Career break/sabbatical — taking an extended period of leave (normally unpaid).
  • Phased retirement — progressively reducing hours of work until full retirement is reached at a specified date.
  • Phased return/gradual return — hours of work are progressively increased until target hours are reached. Often used by parents returning from parental leave.
  • Self-managed work — employees work in their own way, often without direct supervision, towards an agreed goal.
  • Job rotation/role rotation — employees move between 2 or more jobs so they can cross-train and develop a wider variety of skills.

Flexible work location

Work from home or from another branch or office either full-time or some of the time.

Work from home

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