Flexible working (Flexi-work) has become a popular mode of work today. It is an arrangement that allows people to work at different time and different locations. Many companies are now implementing this mode of work to enhance workforce and workplace agility. At the same time, more companies have start planning to adopt this mode of work in their organizations.

 

As revealed by our Global Talent Trend 2020 survey report, nearly two-thirds (64%) of employees say it is important to them that their company culture encourages flexible working. However, about one-third of senior leaders are not on board on flexible working as discovered. This indicates companies need to do more to enhance workforce agility and meet employees’ expectation.

 

To help companies better prepare, develop, implement and enhance their flexible work arrangements, we have developed the Flexible Work Arrangement Diagnostic Toolkit that includes:

What's included in our diagnostic toolkit

17 types of flexible work arrangement

  • Part-time Work
    An arrangement in which employees work reduced hours on a regular basis.
  • Staggered Time
    Employees can have various daily start and end times to suit their work and personal commitments.
  • Compressed Work Schedule
    An arrangement in which an employee works full-time hours, e.g. 40 hours in a week, but in fewer than the normal number of work days per time period.
  • Telecommuting
    A flexi-place arrangement in which the job is performed at a location other than office using information and communication technologies.
  • Flexi-Shift
    Employees specify the days and/or hours they can work in advance, and are scheduled accordingly.
  • Job Sharing
    It allows two or more individuals to share the responsibilities of one full-time position, with each of them working part-time. They usually work at different times during the day/week, and may have a time of overlap to maintain business continuity.
  • Creative Scheduling
    A work schedule that is a deviation from the industry norm. It may be implemented to accommodate existing employees’ personal and family needs and/or to attract potential employees with life stage needs that do not fit into the traditional work schedule.
  • Employee Choice of Days Off
    This allows employees to plan their own work schedules and determine their day(s) off. Balloting may be used to ensure smooth daily operations and fair allocation of day(s) off for employees.
  • Flexible Hours (Flexi-Hours)
    This is an arrangement where employees are contracted to work a certain number of hours over an accounting period, e.g. a 20-hour workweek, and they can work at any time of the day, as long as they complete the stipulated hours within the work week.
  • Interim Work
    This means hiring an employee on a part-time or full-time basis for a specific period to complete a specific project. Interim workers cut across all levels from senior management to general employees. Project-based work is an example of interim work.
  • Time Bank
    Employer and employee agree on a fixed number of work hours over a specified time period (weekly or monthly), e.g. 24 hours a week. Additional hours are accumulated in a time bank and can be taken as time-off in-lieu.
  • Phasing In or Out
    This is an arrangement in which employees who are joining or leaving an organization move from a part-time position into a full-time position or vice versa. In some cases, employees are given the flexibility to determine how many hours and when they work to ease their transition into/out of a full-time position.

4 Steps to implement flexi-work

  • Step 1: Assess readiness
  • Step 2: Develop Policy & Guidelines
  • Step 3: Change Management
  • Step 4: Measure & Tracking

A four-zone matrix showing different level of readiness and maturity

A simple questionnaire to review Infrastructure & Risk and, People & Culture factors

  • Infrastructure & Risk Question
    e.g. We have a formally documented flexible working policy with clearly defined procedures
  • People & Culture Question
    e.g. Senior leadership buys into flexible work models

Recommendations for each zone to provide insights on next steps

Four zone matrix

Step 1: Assess readiness - Diagnostic result

Zone I: You may have already set a good foundation on the infrastrutural and cultural side for flexi-work.  You may need to work further to strengthen employee experience and evaluate employee engagement regularly for continuous improvement.

 

Zone II: You may have set a good foundation on the people and cultural side for flexi-work.  You may need to identify necessary technologies and associated risk for implementing flexi-work such as cyber security.  In addition, you need to ensure the HR policies, guidelines and performance management framework are in place to make flexi-work values to your business.

 

Zone III: You may have set a good foundation on the infrastructural side and risk mitigation for flexi-work.  You may need to pay extra efforts on readiness diagnosis, change management and employee experience.

 

Zone IV: You may need to start working on flexi-work arrangement from assessing readiness and stakeholder alignment to taking actions so as to ensure business continuity and employee experience.  In the meantime, efforts should be put on enhancing infrastructure, cyber security and performance management framework etc.

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