Flextime work schedules and job sharing are types of creative employment arrangements. In a flextime work schedule, an employee is required to work a specific number of hours in a day, week or month, but can set the start and end times of those hours. Job sharing occurs when two employees share a single full-time job by each working part-time, pro-rating the salary. Employers and employees should consider the advantages and disadvantages of these arrangements before implementing them.
Advantages of Flextime Work Schedule
Flextime schedules free employees from the constraints of rigid work hours. For example, an employee may adjust her schedule one day so she can attend her child’s sporting event and make it up by working extra hours the next day. An employee who is a “morning person” may prefer to work early in the day and leave by mid-afternoon. This flexibility increases an employee’s job satisfaction, productivity and loyalty to the company. Employers see less tardiness and absenteeism and often discover that employees are available to cover hours of operation that were formerly difficult to fill.
Disadvantages of Flextime Work Schedule
The effectiveness of a flextime work schedule depends on the size of a company and its hours of operation. While an employer that is open day and night, such as a hospital, can accommodate flextime staff, a business that is only open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day provides little room for an alternative work schedule. Scheduling meetings with flextime employees is also difficult. Supervisors who manage flextime employees might end up working during different hours of the day, which can lead to communication problems.
Advantages of Job Sharing
Employees who want to maintain a job in a professional field but are interested in only working part-time often use job sharing. For example, two doctors might share a single physician position at a medical clinic in which each works at least 20 hours per week. Job sharing allows the two employees to trade hours as needed. As the employees become more aware of each other’s strengths, they can complete their work more efficiently, which increases productivity for the employer.
Disadvantages of Job Sharing
While job sharing employees generally pro-rate the salary of a full time position according to the amount of time each employee works, the employer might still need to provide certain benefits to both employees, which may increase his costs. Job sharing can also pose difficulties if the employees do not communicate well, are absent during meetings, have scheduling conflicts or disagree as to how to complete their tasks.
- Boston College; Sloan Work and Family Research Network; Glossary - Flextime
- Boston College; Sloan Work and Family Research Network; Glossary – Job Sharing
- Baylor University; Flexible Schedule Key to Keeping Working Moms on the Job; Frank Raczkiewicz; June 2011
- Cornell University Division of Human Resources: Job Sharing
- Polka Dot Images/Polka Dot/Getty Images