6 Types of Flexible Working

Flexible working gives employees the choice of when and where they work. It can be incredibly beneficial for both employer and employee, in terms of boosting productivity, improving morale and achieving a better work-life balance. But which flexible working arrangement would suit you best?

Working at home


Here we’ll take a look at the different types of flexible working and their benefits…

Swapping to part-time

There are many different ways you can work more flexibly. One is by simply cutting down your hours and working part-time. If you are currently in full-time employment, you will need to make a formal request to work part-time.

If your request is not granted and you’re keen to enjoy a better work-life balance, it may be worth looking for a new part-time flexible job instead. Take a look at our current listings and see what’s out there!

Job sharing

This type of flexible working involves sharing your job role with another person in your team. Usually, you will split the hours in the working week down the middle, so you don’t have to work every day.

Many employers offer job sharing as a way to improve recruitment and retention – some of the best candidates don’t want to work full time. It can also improve output, through collaborative working and the exchange of ideas between two working partners.

Working from home or remote working

One of the most popular types of flexible working is remote working. This means that you will work from home (or another location) instead of in a traditional workplace setting. You may choose to work remotely permanently or just part of your working week.

Remote working can help promote a better work-life balance and cut down on travel time. It’s also proven to boost morale and in turn, productivity, benefiting both employees and their employers.

Compressed flexible working hours

If you want to work full-time but don’t want to work every day, you may be able to put in a flexible working request for compressed hours. This is where you work fewer days a week but have longer hours on the days you do work.

Flexi time

Wondering what is flexi time? This is something that many employers now offer and essentially, it allows employees to choose the hours they work. Sometimes an employer may stipulate that you need to be present for core hours, however, you may be able to start and leave earlier or start and leave later, depending on what suits you best.

At some workplaces, they have what’s known as ‘staggered hours’ where employees have a different start, break and finish time to each other. This is beneficial for a business as it means there are always employees active and on-site throughout the working day. For example, an employee may start at 8 am and leave at 4 pm, another employee may start at 9 am and leave at 5pm, and someone else may start at 10 am and leave at 6 pm.

In some jobs, you may be able to work ‘annualised hours.’ You will be given a set number of hours you must complete within a working year, however, there is flexibility on your part, as to when you work the hours. This is common in industries with defined ‘seasons’ like agriculture and tourism.

Phased retirement

If you are approaching your retirement but aren’t ready to give up work just yet, you may want to request phased retirement instead. This is a type of flexible working that involves gradually reducing your hours to meet your needs.

With phased retirement, you can continue to benefit from a higher income than if you gave up work completely and your employer will benefit from better workforce planning. They may even ask you to mentor the employee who will take over from you, when you choose to retire, for a smoother transition.

How to request flexible working

Remember, anyone can choose to work flexibly, not just parents and carers!

If you have worked for your employee continuously for at least 26 weeks, you are entitled to submit a flexible working request letter and they are required by law to give it proper consideration.

Your letter should state that you are making a statutory request, outline the new flexible working hours or pattern you wish to adopt and the effect you believe it will have on the business. Try and highlight the positives of flexible working for both you and your employer. The more thought you put into it, the more difficult it will be for them to say no! See this flexible working request letter template for guidance.

Hopefully, this has given you a better idea of the types of flexible working hours and arrangements available, along with how they can benefit both you and your employer.

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