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    Options On The Flex-Work Menu

    Options On The Flex-Work Menu
    by Heidi Glenn, National Public Radio
    March 14, 2010

    For those who think working 9 to 5 is all takin' and no givin' (as Dolly Parton once sang), there are options for a more flexible work arrangement. Don’t know your flextime from your job sharing? Here's a quick primer.

    Flexible Working Benefits Offered By Some U.S. Companies
    Source: Society For Human Resource Management

    Flextime is when employees choose their own work hours within limits set by their employer — for example, working an 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. schedule instead of the traditional 9 to 5 schedule, or working extra hours one day to make up for shorter hours worked another day.

    Telecommuting is when employees work outside the office — say, at home or on a laptop in a coffee shop. The benefit can be offered on a one-time or ad hoc basis — for example, when a commuting crisis such as a snowstorm keeps workers away from the office — or as a part-time benefit.

    Job sharing is when two or more employees share one full-time job; the employees can either alternate weeks, split the workday in half or work 2 1/2 days each week, with one overlapping day.

    Still another option is a compressed workweek, which means, for example, working a four-day/10-hour-day workweek or a three-day/12-hour-day workweek.

    Companies can also give employees flexibility when it comes to when they take their breaks or meals. For example, mealtime flex allows employees who take shorter lunch breaks to leave early. Employers can also let workers adjust their schedules by picking up shifts or trading them with co-workers, an option called shift flexibility.

    Seasonal scheduling is when employees work only a certain number of months a year. And some companies allow employees to work part of the year in one location and part of the year in another location.

    Finally, a results-only work environment basically turns the traditional workplace model of work hours and meetings on its head. Under this arrangement, employees can work where and whenever they wish, as long as projects are completed on time.

    Work-life experts caution that many flex-work programs appear more generous on paper than in practice and can be highly dependent on individual supervisors.
    “Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing there is a field. I'll meet you there.” ~ Rumi

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    Re: Options On The Flex-Work Menu

    Wow. At my last job (for an airline) we had alot of this in my department - as long as we got our 40 hours a week in, they didn't care how (obviously if we had meetings scheduled we needed to be there), they let us work from home not as a rule but on an as-needed basis, we could wear whatever we wanted every day (within reason, my 'uniform' was jeans, hoodie, and ball cap)...it was basically just getting the job done, however we wanted, within some certain and obvious parameters and expectations.

    I could (and have never) work for a "hoity toity" company where you have to dress up every day and be formal. I've always avoided applying on those jobs because they're just not me - I'd be miserable.

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    Re: Options On The Flex-Work Menu

    Work Strategies for Night Owls and Early Birds

    For night owls and early birds, the traditional 9-to-5 workday can be agonizing. The exhausted night owl drags himself bleary-eyed into the office every morning, while the chipper early bird finds his energy waning well before quitting time.

    But there are ways to cope. Experts offer these workplace survival strategies for those with body clocks out of sync with their employers' hours...
    “Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing there is a field. I'll meet you there.” ~ Rumi

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    Re: Options On The Flex-Work Menu

    “Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing there is a field. I'll meet you there.” ~ Rumi

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    Re: Options On The Flex-Work Menu

    “Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing there is a field. I'll meet you there.” ~ Rumi

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    Re: Options On The Flex-Work Menu

    BBC - Capital - The Australian company that banned work on Wednesdays
    30 April 2019

    On Wednesdays, while most of her friends are at work, Tiffany Schrauwen is on the tennis court, practising her backhand. The Melbourne project manager has a lesson all to herself at 09:00, and it can’t be bad for her game.

    Schrauwen isn’t slacking off. For nearly a year, digital marketing agency Versa – where she works – has shut down on Wednesdays, giving staff a four-day week at five days’ pay....

    A mid-week break lets staff go to the gym, get on top of house work, look after young children, schedule appointments, work on their start-up or just watch Netflix. Sometimes, they’ll catch up on work. Sick days are down, staff satisfaction is up, says Blackham. “You get that Monday feeling a couple of times a week.”

    That Monday feeling of productivity was critical to Blackham’s decision to break the week into two “mini-weeks”, rather than creating a long weekend, which she feared may encourage her predominantly young staff to “have an even bigger weekend”...

    Professor Jarrod Haar...has interviewed employees on rotating four-day weeks, and found they most enjoyed the Wednesdays off...

    Barnes says his organisation is now mentoring around 50 companies on how to implement a four-day week.

    The New Zealand-based CEO says changes to the way we structure full time work can address a host of social challenges. “One in five of our workforce is suffering mental stress at any given time. You address that issue, what does that do to health budgets? If you have an ability for parents to spend more time with their kids, what does that do to educational outcomes? If you’re not having cars backed up nose-to-tail in peak hour, what does that do for the environment?”

    Professor Rae Cooper, a gender and employment relations academic at the University of Sydney, says the four-day week goes to address another key issue: the loss of highly-skilled women from the workforce. “The average age of the first birth in Australia is now in the early 30s. That’s when we hit our straps in terms of career development, earnings jumping up and really becoming very productive employees. That’s really when we’re losing women [from the workforce] because we’re not giving them choices to be both mothers and productive workers,” she says.

    And this is something Versa’s Blackham is desperate to change. She wants to ensure her daughter can pursue both career and family life.

    No one should have to fight for flexibility,” she says.
    “Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing there is a field. I'll meet you there.” ~ Rumi

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