Flexible Working - Thinking Beyond Part-Time Work

 There's now so much more to flexible working than just "part-time" hours.

There's now so much more to flexible working than just "part-time" hours.

Due to the raft of evidence supporting flexible working, we have made it one of our aims at Flexology to progress the conversation beyond “part time work” in order to demonstrate that successful flexible working comes in many different forms. Two increasingly popular scenarios that benefit both employees and businesses are working compressed hours and job sharing.

Compressed Hours
Flexibility in working schedules does not necessarily mean that a position is part-time. Working compressed hours is an arrangement whereby an employee works normal contractual full-time hours (very often 37.5 hours) over four days. This allows the employee to retain a full-time salary, whilst gaining the flexibility of having one day off in the working week. The employer benefits from maintained productivity/output, as well as employee satisfaction and retention.

Job Sharing
Job sharing is a partnership whereby two employees agree to voluntarily share the responsibilities and duties of one full-time job. It works best where there is one day of overlap to enable communication and skills sharing, for example, one employee works Mon-Weds and the other Weds-Fri. Pay, benefits and leave entitlement for job sharing are allocated on a pro rata basis (divided approximately by hours worked).

There is growing evidence that job sharing partnerships increase work outputs due to the impact of a wider range of skills, experience, and creativity of two people rather than one. In addition, the employer benefits from access to a wider talent pool by including candidates who want to work flexibly, holiday and sickness cover, potential to have two individuals with different skillsets bringing additional value to the role and much more. There is a requirement to manage 2 people rather than one but that overhead is minimal and more than offset by the improved commitment and retention they display and the huge risk reduction that knowledge sharing presents.

Rather than seeing flexibility as an employee benefit earned after the length of service, Flexology supports professional candidates wanting to partner in a job share or work compressed hours in order to challenge traditional full-time roles at the point of recruitment.

 Shelley Snelson, Flexible working advocate and female founder.

Shelley Snelson, Flexible working advocate and female founder.

This article was contributed by Shelley Snelson - co-founder of Flexology. Flexology is a recruitment and consultancy business focused solely on flexible working based in the UK.