What is Flexible Working?

What is Flexible Working

Learn the answer to: what is flexible working? Alongside the different types of flexible working arrangements and the rights of employees.

What is Flexible Working?

Define Flexible Working

Flexible working is ways of working and hours that suit the needs of employees and often increasing their work-life balance. It can also help working around different industries and company cultures. Furthermore, anyone can make a flexible working request.

Those who care for a child or adult also have the legal right to request flexible working. This is also known as making a statutory application. Employers, however, can refuse if they have a good business reason, according to Gov.uk.

Read: Why Employees Leave and Staff Retention in 2014.

Types of Flexible Working

Part-time Work

This is the most popular type of flexible working. More and more people are working fewer days and fewer hours.

Part-time work helps to fulfil longer opening hours and 24/7 services. Moreover, employees can fit work around studying or other commitments.


This is usually what people think of when they hear flexible working. The employee chooses when to start and end work based on agreed perameters.

These may include staff having to work between 10am and 4pm. This way emploees can begin work at 8am and end at 4am to avoid an unpleasant commute, for example.

Working from Home

Due to communications and technological advancements working from home is becoming easier for more and more employees. Again, this can help avoid a lengthy commute and allow for more of a work-life balance.

Working from home is often used to cover anywhere that is not the site of the employee’s usual workplace. These flexible working practices can make employee engagement initiatives but can also be used as low cost rewards.

Job Sharing

This involves two people sharing one job and sharing the hours. This can cause some cross-over and duplication in working tasks but using an RACI system can cut down on this.

Read: New Employee Onboarding in 2014.

Phased Retirement

Completely cutting ties when it comes to retiring is not always possible. Employees often need to pass on work and clients as well as train others.

Moreover a set retirement age is being used less and less. Therefore, a phased retirement allows staff to cut down hours and ease into retirement whilst completing tasks.

Compressed Hours

This involves working the same amount of hours as a full-time week but within fewer days. Again, this can allow for employees to fulfil other life commitments or work around longer opening hours.

Annualised Hours

This is similar to flexitime flexible working practices. An employee has perameters on which or hours or how many hours they need to work per year/month/week.

They then work the extra hours, that would make up a full-time position, during peak times of year. Annualised hours allow for seasonal fluctuations in work and can center around the business year.

Staggered Hours

An employee may have different start, end and break times from other employees. This can be seen in retail, for example, where a certain amount of people are needed on the shop floor at all times.

Contact great{with}talent and find out more about their TalentEngage employee engagement surveys.

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