While in the US and other Western countries, flexible working has become a norm for most professional men and women, in India, the concept of flexible working is slowly picking up in the country’s job market. There are few organisations who are opting for flexible working professionals instead of full time employees. This has become a blessing for professional women, who otherwise have to give up their jobs for family obligations, maternal instincts or for any other reasons.
But what is flexible working?
Flexible working is an arrangement when an employee’s working schedule is customized to suit the employee’s needs and is an alternative to traditional fixed number of working hours. As a professional working woman, if you plan to opt for flexi-timing or flexible working hours, then you should know the various types of flexible working arrangements available and whether your employer provides those arrangements or not.
Types of flexible working arrangements
Let us know the various types of flexible working arrangements :
Flexible working hours: In this arrangement, employees have to devote a fixed number of hours to the organization as per company’s norms, but the start and finish time will be dependent on the employees. Here the employees choose their time of arrival and departure, within the limits set by the company.
Accrued time: Another option is accrued time when employees require flexibility in the length of their workdays. It means, you work more than your standard daily hours and the extra time or hours that you accrue can be taken later as a full or part days leave. This is also known as flexi time.
Alternative schedule: Here, work hours are scheduled outside of the traditional 9 to 5 work time. You can opt for second shifts and night shifts or even weekend shifts, as per your convenience. In such an arrangement, you keep yourself free during the normal daytime business hours.
Compressed working schedule: Here, an employee instead of devoting 35 to 40 hours in a week for 5 working days (that is, 8 hours per day), can work for long hours and completes 40 hours of work in 3 or 4 days. The compressed workweek allows for an additional day or two off per week.
Job share: In this flexi-work arrangement, duties of 1 job are shared between 2 or more employees. But this is applicable for an ongoing project or a short-term project. There are two options of job sharing: (a) twin model, in which two employees share 1 position and tasks but work on different days. (b) islands model, in which employees share the same position but take on different aspects of the work. Here, employees work for an equal number of hours, which can be splitting the week to 2.5 days each or working on alternate weeks or days or by splitting the working hours in a day.
Telecommuting: This is the most popular form of flexible working in India. We can also call this arrangement as working from home. You work from your home. This can be scheduled according to the work demands. You work for fixed numbers of hours in a certain period but away from the main workplace, preferably from home.
Part-time work: Another flexible work arrangement is part time work, which is common in India. Part time work means working for a fixed numbers of hours per week or working for only a few days a week. Either you work from home or at the central office but arrangements vary from one company to another. Arrangements can vary for different employees even in the same company, depending on individual needs.
GharSeNaukri.com is a prominent job portal that connects women to employers willing to offer work from home and flexi hours’ jobs. It is to be noted that flexible work should not be confused with freelancing work. You work from home, you work as per your convenient time, but you are and you should be committed to your work as much as in a regular job.