By Bond Collective Staff
More and more businesses are discovering the benefits of flexible work arrangements for their teams. Employees love them because they allow for a healthier work/life balance. Businesses love them because they help maintain productivity and focus.
But are they right for your business?
In this article, we discuss the specifics of this growing trend and provide insight into how you can implement and manage the flexible work arrangements that contribute to success.
What Are Flexible Work Arrangements?
“Flexible work arrangements” is both a theory and a practice that describes when, where, and how team members work within a business.
Of the two, the practice of setting up flexible work arrangements is usually the first thing that comes to mind. But the theory is equally important because it helps your business explain why it’s implementing new practices and the benefits it hopes to achieve.
On the theory side of the coin, flexible work arrangements focus on creating a better work/life balance for employees, reducing stress, while increasing productivity and motivation.
On the practical side of the coin, they are the real-world solutions that contribute to the theory described in the previous paragraph.
These solutions are typically divided into two distinct categories: schedule-specific arrangements and location-specific arrangements. We’ll discuss each in more detail below.
Flexible Work Arrangements By Schedule
A part-time schedule — one in which an employee works less than 40 hours per week — is the most common flexible work arrangement in the business world.
The flexibility extends not just to the number of hours worked but also to the days on which the team member reports for work.
In contrast to a full-time employee, a part-time employee might work five hours each on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday; nine hours each Monday through Thursday; or any other combination of days and hours that work for your business.
As long as the total time worked per week (i.e., seven days) doesn’t equal 40 hours, you can consider the team member as part of a part-time work arrangement.
Flextime is unique among this list because team members can alter their workday start and finish times according to their own needs.
Employees are still required to work a set number of hours per day or per week, but they are given the freedom to choose when they will accumulate that time.
To keep the schedules from becoming too random and chaotic, flextime usually incorporates core time — a specific range of hours during which all team members must be present and working.
For example, your business might establish core time between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.
With that in mind, one team member might work from 5 a.m. to 2 p.m. while another team member might work from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. It all depends on what works best for the employee that day.
The 9/80 schedule is one of the most complex arrangements on this list. Team members work 80 hours over nine days instead of the normal 80 hours over 10 days (assuming a five-day workweek).
Within the 9/80 schedule, employees work eight nine-hour days and one eight-hour day (split between one workweek and the next).
That arrangement makes it possible for your business to give employees a three-day weekend twice a month.
If the 9/80 schedule sounds complicated, that’s because it is — at least at first. Once you and your team get the hang of it, though, your business may never go back to the typical 9-5, Monday-Friday schedule.
Another addition to the list of flexible work arrangements is the compressed workweek.
The industry standard for full-time team members is 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. (the 40-hour workweek). A compressed schedule, on the other hand, has team members working the same number of hours (40) in fewer days.
For example, your business may choose four 10-hour days, three 12-hour days, or four 9-hour days plus one four-hour day.
As with many of the flexible work arrangements available today, you can customize the schedule to fit the needs of your team and your business.
5) Split Shift
A split shift is a type of work arrangement in which you divide a team member’s workday into two or more distinct parts. By law, those distinct parts often need to be separated by two hours or more.
Here’s an example of a simple split shift:
10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
6 p.m. to 10 p.m.
In many cases, local law stipulates that during the break within a split shift, employees must leave the business. What they do during that time is completely up to them — they can attend to personal matters, run errands, or go home and rest up for the second part of the workday.
This type of flexible work arrangement provides a better work-life balance for your employees and helps your business control labor costs.
Flexible Work Arrangements By Location
6) Hot Desking
Hot desking is a location-specific work arrangement in which workspaces are assigned or occupied on a first-come, first-served basis.
In contrast to the more traditional office layout in which your business assigns each team member a personal desk or workspace, hot desking means that desks, tables, and chairs have no permanent owner.
Instead, employees use whatever surface is available that fits their needs.
While hoteling is similar to hot desking in that there are no permanent assigned seats, this flexible work arrangement allows team members to create a bit more stability in where they work from one day to the next.
In hoteling, individuals reserve workspaces ahead of time for several days, a week, or even a month.
Hoteling is very common for entrepreneurs and other professionals who are only in town for a short time but require access to a desk when and where they need it.
8) Multipurpose Workspaces
Regardless of whether you incorporate hot desking or hoteling into your work environment, your team members will benefit from using multipurpose workspaces.
This flexible work arrangement gives your employees the option to perform a variety of work on their own or in groups as the need arises.
For example, four or five team members may work at one large table. They can decide to work together or by themselves depending on the task at hand.
This is great for small groups that work together on a regular basis because they don’t have to get up, move their stuff to a larger space, interrupt their workflow, and lose focus in order to collaborate.
9) Mobile Furniture
Flexible work arrangements can extend beyond the work schedule and where your team gathers on a regular basis, into all corners of your office.
With mobile furniture that can be easily moved, rolled away, folded up, or broken down completely, you give your employees the ability to cluster together and work as a unit wherever inspiration strikes.
10) Various Seating And Desk Options
When it comes to flexible work arrangements within your office itself, few things are more beneficial to productivity and focus than offering a variety of seating and desk options.
Incorporate ergonomic chairs, stools, couches, adjustable-height desks (a.k.a. standing desks), cafe tables, communal tables, and other seat and surface options so that your team members have a choice of how and where they want to work.
The Ideal Flexible Work Arrangement For Your Business
Setting up a flexible work arrangement can be a daunting and difficult task. But there are ways — and one way in particular — to make it simpler and less intimidating: partner with Bond Collective.
Bond Collective specializes in boutique, turn-key work environments for individuals, teams, and businesses of all types and sizes.
At Bond Collective, you set the schedule and we provide everything else for the perfect flexible work arrangement.
Whether you need a private office, a suite of offices, or just a place to sit and type, you’ll find it at any one of the many Bond Collective locations across the country.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a team of one or 100, you’ll enjoy all that Bond Collective has to offer including industry-leading amenities, such as:
Conference rooms for 2 or 20+
Private meeting and phone booths
Guest reception and greeting
Unlimited black-and-white printing
Fast, reliable WiFi and internet
Mail and package handling
Nightly office cleaning
Fresh fruit, snacks, and weekly breakfast
Complimentary spa water, craft beer, and coffee
And much more
Visit any one of Bond Collective’s many locations in the United States — including workspaces in New York, California, Pennsylvania, Washington D.C., Illinois, Tennessee, and Texas — to see what the pinnacle of coworking is all about.