Flexible Working System: Introduction
Flexible Working System is a contemporary management concept. This is a schedule-based work arrangement, which provides employees with greater freedom to perform their duties and work obligations. Flexible working system is also referred as Flextime system. This system allows the employees to balance their personal and professional life. Modern workplace focuses on providing higher work flexibility to employees to increase their performance, satisfaction and productivity. The very common form of flexible working system we all now know is working from home also know as home sourcing. Some of the examples of Flexible Working System;
- Reduced Hours/Part-time job
- Compressed work-week
- Telework/Working Remotely/Telecommuting
- Job Sharing
- Annualized Hours
- Gradual Retirement
- Leaves and Sabbaticals
Components of Flexible Working System
There are generally three main components of Flexible Working System:
Most of the organizations provide employees with the option to start and end their work time. Employees get to choose their work schedule which includes arrival, leave and lunch breaks. But the organization sets certain core hours for operational purposes where employees need to be present. Working hours is one of the most common aspects that organization consider for making system more flexible.
Under this component employees are provided with the option of job sharing. Here, two employees share the job responsibilities and duties of a single job and get compensation for the job position. Also, this also includes compressed work weeks where an employees work for extra hours when s/he has it in exchange for a day off. This is basically a motivation from employees level in mutual understanding.
Location flexibility is common in freelancing nature of work where the job location of the employees doesn’t matter unless the employees is performing and fulfilling his/her obligation to employer. Working from home, working remotely etc. are some approaches of flexible working location. It allows the company to hire the employees from around the globe as their no location barrier and also, such flexibility provides employees to work for the company as company is making your working environment easy.
General Electrics approach to Flexible Working Environment
General Electrics is one of the biggest American multinational companies. GE has many segments like aviation, healthcare, energy and other. They have employees from various parts of the world. GE focuses on flexible or remote work to satisfy the personal needs of the employees. To balance the personal and professional life of employees, GE provides different options like part time job, job sharing, flex-time and remote work.
Work flexibility and freedom is required in the modern workplace for increasing motivation, satisfaction and productivity. Modern work forces are more concerned about work flexibility than salary benefits. Flexible workplace is beneficial for both employees and employers. Flexibility and freedom at work increases employees satisfaction which results in higher work motivation and other benefits.
Contribution of Flexible Work System
Main contribution of flexible work system to employee’s motivation and quality life are as follows
- Employees get more time to satisfy their personal needs. Workplace flexibility allows the employees to spend time with their family.
- Flexible work system improves the overall well-being of the employees. Flexible work arrangement can reduce the work stress, burnout and fatigue. As a result, employees are able to perform at their full potential.
- The flexible work system enables employees to be more creative and have freedom in their work. Employees will get actively involved in work and provide creative ideas.
- The balance between work and personal life is ensured by a flexible work system. This results in increased productivity which leads to future opportunities.
COVID-19 has changed the work system and environment of the world. Organizations are forced to conduct the work from home. Different companies from around the globe are focusing on remote work or work from home. For example, Facebook, Salesforce, PayPal and Google are promoting remote work to deal with the pandemic issues. These companies are applying changes to their leadership style and showing trust and faith in the flexible work system to create viable solutions to problems created by pandemics. The survey conducted by Grossman Group showed that 48% of the US employees preferred to work from home even after the pandemic ends.