Pros and Cons of Alternative Work Schedule

Many people are now opting to find work schedules that would best fit their lifestyles and suit their needs in doing other tasks. Some people are having a difficult time adhering on the traditional work schedules or the work schedules as prescribed by their company. That is why they look for schedules that will best suit their needs and allow them to manage their time on their own. Everyone has their own perception of flexibility and work. Such perceptions may greatly depend on the personal needs, educational background, skills and the type of work that you are about to pursue.

Alternative work schedules refer to the type of schedule that is not based on the conventional work schedule. Types of alternative work schedules include part-time employment, flexible leave and subcontracting. Part-time employment has the advantage of doing many jobs effectively; however, employing two part-timers may cost more than employing one full-time employee. However, part-time employment may be a better option than lay-offs (Rogovsky, Ozoux, Esser, Marpe & Broughton, 2005). On the other hand, subcontracting is the type of alternative work schedule that is detaching some of the employees in period of time.

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The employees still belong to the company but they will work for another company. Flexible leave allows the employees to avail limited leave that is agreed by the company and the employee (Rogovsky et al. , 2005). Flex-time is a growing idea in the business industry and becoming a popular option in the workplace’s work arrangements. The idea that the employees should not be tied on to their desks the whole week emerged in the 1990’s. Today, flexibility is an integral part of business. This is expected already as the new generation enters the workforce (Bitti, 2008).
The inception of new technology, especially the use of computers, changed the landscape of work arrangements. It allows employees to be more present or attend to their work anytime and anywhere if their work is accessible in the internet. That is why more companies are embracing flexi-time work schedules for their work arrangements (Bitti, 2008). Compressed work week is becoming an option for the company to attract more employees and increase their productivity. Compressed work week means that you will work for the same number of hours as they would work for regular week but in fewer days (MacKillop, Geddie & Miedema, 2003).
Compressed work week may be in the form of flexible work arrangement in order to maintain balance between work and family. Alternative work schedules provide options for the employees that have other responsibilities – either at home or at school – as most of the people that seek for alternative work schedules are mothers who are engaged in household activities and students who seek job opportunities while studying. The alternative work schedule has its own advantages and disadvantages. Flexible work arrangement is a type of alternative work schedule that renders benefits to the employees.
One of the advantages it renders is allowing employees not to commute on the rush hour that is less stressful on the part of the employees (Katepoo, 2008). Alternative work schedule also improve the morale of the employees and considerably reduce the stress experienced of the employees. Alternative work schedule can lower the absences of the employees and can contribute greatly in productivity. In addition, the overtime pay for the employees is reduced, thus lowering the costs for the employers (Beierlein & Van Horn, 1995).
Moreover, there is an enhancement in the aspect of recruitment as well as for the people who may be unavailable for the traditional work schedule. The business hours are also extended due to flex-time and compressed work week options. The equipment and facilities are also economically used in alternative work schedules (Beierlein & Van Horn, 1995). One of the advantages of the flexi-time is that it allows the employees to juggle different things while receiving a regular payment. They are able to attend to other things without sacrificing their work (Bitti, 2008).
Alternative work schedule also has its own share of disadvantages. This includes mentally and physically stressful or draining for the employees working in the compressed work week arrangement. This may also become the onset of chronic fatigue due to work and family conflict time pressures in some types of alternative work schedule. The compressed work schedule may render difficulty especially for mothers who are attending household responsibilities (Katepoo, 2008). Furthermore, supervisors and subordinates may not work on the same schedule making it hard for the management to effectively manage the company.
Problems may also arise in the areas of timekeeping and how benefits are distributed (Beierlein & Van Horn, 1995). There is also the possibility of lower workforce on peak days that require the managements to establish efficient cross and back-up training and good communication system to ensure high productivity. In compressed work week arrangement, people with young family members spend longer hours in the office in some days and experience difficulty in their day care obligations (MacKillop, Geddie & Miedema, 2003).
The alternative work schedule is a growing trend in the business industry and slowly gaining popularity in some companies. It renders advantages not only for the employees but also for the employer and the company. However, the alternative work schedule has its own set of disadvantages for both parties.
Beierlein, J. G. & Van Horn, J. E. (1995, June). Alternative Work Schedule. National Network for Child Care. Retrieved November 12, 2008, from http://www. nncc. org/EO/emp. alt. work. sched. html.
Bitti, T. (2008, July 14). What are the pros and cons of flex time?. Financial Post. Retrieved November 12, 2008, from http://www. financialpost. com/small_business/businesssolutions/story. html? id=645783.
Katepoo, P. (2008). Compressed Workweek: Pros & Cons as a Flexible Work Arrangement. WorkOptions. com. Retrieved November 12, 2008, from http://www. workoptions. com/compros. htm.
MacKillop, M. , Geddie, J. & Miedema, A. (2003). Legal Terms for Human Resources Professionals. Canada: CCH Canadian Ltd. Rogovsky, N. , Ozoux, P. , Esser, D. , Marpe, T. & Broughton, A. (2005). Restructuring for Corporate Success: A Socially Sensitive Approach. Geneva: International Labour Organization.

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