Make Working Work for You
The 9-5 is dying with flexible working becoming the new “normal.” The productivity and moral benefits of this new way of working are obvious. So it’s no wonder why more employers are stepping up to the plate and opening up to flexible working arrangements.
Whether you have additional responsibilities elsewhere or you want to set up on your own, a flexible working pattern can make these goals a reality.
So what is the true meaning of flexible working?
Why Consider Flexible Working?
The realms of flexible working are expanding. It’s no longer a meaningless statement with employment being confined to part or full time hours.
The ability to work anywhere and at any time is becoming a more viable option. With more than 73% of those aged 18 to 34 working flexibly it’s easy to see why large employers can no longer afford to be so restrictive in their hours.
So why is flexible working such a benefit?
Achieving that perfect work life balance can become easier if you can adjust your hours or working location occasionally. Doing your laundry in your lunch break or going to the gym in the middle of day because you work shifts are the little things that matter.
Who does flexible working work for?
Be honest, when you heard the phrase flexible working did your brain automatically jump to thinking of parents trying to balance work and children.
Okay, whilst this is a popular reason for choosing the flexible option it doesn’t mean that it’s just reserved for parents. Flexible working can help you start a side hustle, take up a passion project or simply just give you more time for the most important person … you!
If the 9-5 shift pattern works for you, then there is no need to reinvent the wheel. Instead the location of where you work could make the difference.
Most careers require not much more than a laptop and a phone so why be restrained to an office cubicle. Your office could be your living room, your car or your garden. (Well probably not the garden in these freezing cold winters!)
The ability to work remotely could allow you to travel, explore or just simply cook dinner whilst you finish off work emails.
You no longer have to quit your job for a better balance. A simple discussion with your line manager could result in you working from your sofa in your PJ’s.
Working Flexible Hours
You may have read the articles about the 4 days week where employees are paid for 5 or the fact that artificial intelligence could mean a working week of 28 hours could be in grasp but is this really available to all.
Whilst I’d love to be paid for 5 days for 4-day week, I am wise enough to know those studies are still a long way off the mainstream.
But you don’t need to be working for a trial blazing company to flex your hours.
Exhibit A … myself.
My current career allows me to work Monday to Thursday, leaving Friday to hit the blog. The option initially seemed crazy to me at first as well. The money I would lose, the stigma of being a “part timer” and in the end the availability of jobs with those hours.
In the words of Dolly Parton “Workin’ nine to five, what a way to make a livin”, exactly Dolly it’s not the only way. Yes, I took a pay cut. But my side hustle made up for that and now I get to say it’s Friday on a Thursday at work. (Probably to the annoyance of my colleagues.)
Even better, flexible working patterns doesn’t have to mean a reduction in hours. Consider shift patterns. You don’t need to work 5 “working days” and you don’t need to reserve the middle of you day for employment. Morning, afternoon or evening/night shifts are all reachable options.
Working Reduced Hours
The most obvious flexible working option is reducing hours.
With full time hours running anywhere from 35 to 60+ hours. In the exact same way part time hours are not just 20 hours per week. From zero-hour contracts to boarding on full time, the possibilities are endless.
Outside responsibilities, commitments and the ever changing “normal” life can factor into your ability to work certain hours. Meaning employers are becoming more open to working when works for you.
More companies are operating on a 24-hour basis so the prospect of choosing hours that work for you are no longer a pipedream.
Select your availability as part of job application or even as a filter when searching for vacancies online and noticed how many positions appear.