Flexibility
5 (100%) 1 vote

Flexibility

Content:

• Flexibility at work

• Flexible working hours

• Home based work

• Job sharing

• Part time work

• A career brake

• Short-term Absences for Family and Community Responsibilities

Workplace flexibility polarizes opinion; it is either a necessary prerequisite to survival in the global market or a means by which the rights of workers are eroded. The difference comes from a lack of shared understanding of the concept. Organizations need to get to grips with flexibility, not only to address business problems and cope with legal regulations, but also to respond to the pressures of workforce diversity and labour market tightness.

Flexibility at Work brings clarity to this misunderstood subject. It shows you how to obtain the business benefits of flexibility through an approach which addresses the needs of both employer and employee.

Flexibility can reduce costs, improve quality and service, increase productivity, hedge against change, and meet supply needs.

Flexible Working Hours allow employees to better manage their personal and business commitments by varying their working hours. Flexible Working Hours allow more flexibility in attendance patterns and the use of flexitime credit to take time off or days off to meet specific personal needs, without reducing other leave credits. Flexible Working Hour arrangements are not an entitlement, a right or an obligation and can only be entered into by mutual agreement. Possible benefits for the employee from flexible working hours are:

– provides for family friendly work practices by allowing employees to meet dependant care responsibilities

– enables employees to combine work with other responsibilities and interests

– allows for greater job satisfaction because work can be completed when motivation and energy levels are high

– reduces the need to take leave without pay and other leave provisions

For the employer:

-increases ability to adapt staffing levels according to seasonal demand and customer requirements

-increases staff motivation and commitment because staff needs are met

-increases competitive edge in attracting and retaining employees

-improves customer service through flexibility in staffing arrangements

-reduces absenteeism

-reduces overtime costs

-accommodates the various needs and circumstances of employees

Home-Based Work (HBW) enables employees to do work from home that would previously have been done in the workplace. Usually, under HBW arrangements, employees will work a proportion of their normal weekly hours of duty at home. The agency or an employee can initiate a HBW proposal which should be considered on a case-by-case basis. A written agreement should reflect the approved arrangements. It is important to note that home-based work is not a substitute for childcare or dependent care arrangements. HBW is not an entitlement, a right or an obligation and can only be entered into by mutual agreement.

Possible benefits for the employee from the home-based work:

-provides greater ability to combine work with other responsibilities and interests

-provides greater autonomy, responsibility and control

-provides an opportunity to phase in retirement

-provides an opportunity for people with special needs to arrange their work time to accommodate those needs, and

-there may be fewer distractions when working from home

Possible benefits for employer:

-increases productivity and efficiency

-increases motivation and commitment because employee needs are met

-reduces absenteeism

-reduces accommodation costs

-reduces work station costs

-increases employee retention rates

-improves returns on training investment

-accommodates the various needs and circumstances of employees

Suitable opportunities for home-based work Home-based work may be particularly suited to employees or positions which do not need close supervision or interaction with other employees. Home-based work can be considered where there would be no detriment to the work team or the work being undertaken, and communications and work quality would not be disadvantaged.

Job sharing is an arrangement in which two or more people share one full-time job, each working part time on a regular ongoing basis.

Because each job sharing arrangement is different, the agency needs to make decisions about the design of each arrangement. The details should be included in a written agreement between management and the employees concerned. Job sharing can be adapted to a variety of circumstances because arrangements are individually designed to suit the needs of the organisation, the job sharers and the nature of the job. Ultimately the agency must be satisfied that the job sharing arrangements will not adversely impact on the delivery of their services. Job sharing is not an entitlement, a right or an obligation and can only be entered into by mutual agreement. There are three different forms of job sharing, each with differing characteristics which make them more or less suitable to particular jobs. Types of job sharing

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