Advantages & Disadvantages of a Flexible Work Schedule

Written by bianca bumpres
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To many, a dream job is one with a flexible schedule. A flexible work schedule is described in different ways. According to a study from the University of California San Diego, flexible schedules can cut down on overheard and are generally perceived as positive by employees. As with any system of scheduling there are ups and downs. Consider advantages and disadvantages of flexible work schedules.

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Flexible Work Schedules

A flexible work schedule can consist of a compressed work week. One option is a schedule of four 10-hour days. Pat Katepoo, a consultant who specialises in flexible work options, also recommends a 5-4/9 plan. She describes it as a plan under which, during a biweekly pay period, the employee works one week of five 9-hour days. The following work week is four 9-hour days, resulting in a day off every other week. A third option is a telecommuting schedule, meaning an employee completes some or all of his work duties at home. Flexitime is when employees can have flexibility in arriving, leaving or lunchtimes. Flexitime usually puts a time window on when an employee can arrive, leave or eat lunch as long as workload is completed by the end of the week.

Advantages

Advantages of a flexible work schedule include having a full day off outside of the weekend without sacrificing income, saving on gasoline or not needing to commute during high-traffic times. It can boost workplace morale, reduce work-environment stress and lead to fewer absences. Employees may be more willing to commit to a plan because it can allow a better work/home balance.

Disadvantages

An amount of disadvantages do exist when it comes to working outside of the regular 9-to-5 box.

Disadvantages of flexible work schedules can include childcare fees increasing due to longer work days. The longer work days can put a physical and emotional strain on employees.

With the work week extended, outside activities, errands and outings may have to be crammed into one day off. The extension of hours can result in chronic fatigue.

Conflicts can arise if employees want the same days off.

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