So what are these flexible working arrangements that are out there? I have done quite a bit of online research on this and also have practiced a few myself over the last couple of years; so here I will provide a brief summary on what options are available. Flexible working can be part of your employment; As in, you can enter into a flexible work schedule as part of your employment with an organisation. On the other side flexible working is about being self employed and working on projects/businesses on your own rules.

I will start with what I have personally tried out, some of which are aligned with establishing flexibility with your current/future employer. In 2014 I was on a telecommuting work schedule with my then employer. This arrangement allowed me to work at office 2 days a week and work from home 3 days a week. This was a full-time employment contract where the obligation is to put in 40Hrs of work per week and work needs to be primarily carried out during core business hours. The flexibility in this arrangement was the ‘place of work’.

Prior to that in 2013, I was on a part-time schedule, where I was contracted to put in 30Hrs of work per week and work from office during the core hours. The flexibility in this arrangement was the ‘hours of work’. Since this was based on reduced hours, accordingly there was a change to remuneration and entitled benefits.

I was very fortunate at that time to be employed at an organization that was open for ‘flexible working’ even though there are were no formalized polices on the same. Also the fact that I had been part of the organization for almost 8+ years with good performance helped me to negotiate these alternative working arrangements 🙂

Starting 2015 I moved into a another new work arrangement which is based on working permanently from home. At this point I ended by full-time employment with my employer and entered into new consulting contract. Now I work independently, in my own schedule, at any preferred location while meeting my client responsibilities. This has given me the ultimate work flexibility so that I can balance my family and professional life successfully. This also gives me the freedom to venture into new home based businesses which I hope to develop in the near future.

Apart from what I’ve practiced/experienced, there are some common options available when considering a flexible work arrangement with your employer which are accepted and commonly practiced all over the globe.

The list goes on as follows:

  • Flexi Hours – Employee has flexibility in terms of work start and finish times.  The number of hours worked per week will remain as per the standards and usually the bulk of the hours should be covered during the core business hours. Work is carried out in office.
  • Reduced Hours – Employee works a predefined number of hours a week which is less than the standard. Usually work will be carried out in office during core business hours.
  • Compressed Weeks – Employees can cover the total hours per week within a fewer number of days. Usually this results in 4 days of 10Hrs or 3 days of 12Hrs. Work is carried out in office.
  • Annualized Hours – Employee has to work a certain defined number of hours per year but they have flexibility about when they work.
  • Job Sharing – Two employees will carry out the responsibilities of a single job role. Each will split the obligations on when they work and how much hours they work. Work is carried out in office.
  • Telecommuting – This allows for the employee to carry out some part (or all) of his job outside the office environment (from home or any other remote location). Usually this will be only for a few days a week, on an ad-hoc manner as needed, or even on a full-time basis. [Check out my detailed post on Telecommuting]

If you are looking for flexible working while being your own boss you can consider other options as well. I strongly believe that these are excellent solutions that provides us with the ultimate in work flexibility.

  • Freelancing – Someone who provides services to multiple clients (employers). This can be on full-time or part-time basis. Resource is not directly employed by any one employer and only contracted to provide the agreed upon services. Freelancing is one of the easiest, fastest, and low cost ways to start working for yourself.
  • Home Businesses – Small scale businesses that operate from the owners home. These provide ultimate work flexibility for the owner as they are self-employed.

So there you go….these are some of the most common options out there that can help to Make it Work. There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to flexible working arrangements. It is up to the individual and/or the organization to determine what is most suitable based on the need at hand and progress accordingly. I’ve just provided a very high-level overview on these available options and hope to post more in the future with more insights into each.

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6 thoughts on “Options

  1. Totally endorse the contents in your write-up. Keep up your good work to motivate both employers and employees to encourage working with flexibility using rapidly growing technology.

    1. Thank You! Mission is to promote work flexibility in Sri Lanka so that it opens up opportunities to more people like you and me.

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