TED Conversations

This conversation is closed.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of flexible working?

What are the advantages that frlexible working can provide, and what are its disadvantages?

Share:
  • Oct 20 2013: Thank you so much.
  • thumb
    Oct 18 2013: The advantages of flexible working are that you can still have a life outside of work and work a schedule that fits around your lifestyle. Many employers offer flexible working conditions so that families have more time together and people are happier working in a time of day that is comfortable for them. A disadvantage is that flexible working means that odd shifts may be needed to accommodate the schedules of others with seniority. Another disadvantage is employers feel obligated to give you the schedule you want even if it is not where you are needed the most.
    • thumb
      Oct 21 2013: Small list of companies, please? I'm in disbelief they exist today with the amount of competition on the streets. Why would an employer hire two part time employees over only hiring one full time employee?
  • Oct 18 2013: Time.
  • thumb
    Oct 16 2013: The advantages of flexible working are that you can still have a life outside of work and work a schedule that fits around your lifestyle. Many employers offer flexible working conditions so that families have more time together and people are happier working in a time of day that is comfortable for them. A disadvantage is that flexible working means that odd shifts may be needed to accommodate the schedules of others with seniority.
  • Oct 16 2013: Obvious Plus more feedom

    minus Where is everyone?
  • Oct 15 2013: I think you are talking about 2 things:

    1. flex hours which allows people to set their own hours when they are in the office but still be close or over 40 hours. For example, one person works 12 hours for 4 days and gets a day off.

    2. Another is allowing people to work from home - either on some days or every day
    The advantage is allows employees to manage their time. For example, if it takes 2 hours to commute to and from work, allowing them to work from home several days a week or coming in early or later to miss the traffic.

    It can lead to more productive employees - Unfortunately, there have been abuses which have led companies to cut back on these practices.

    Another problem is the ability for informal discussion at work which can lead to great ideas.
  • thumb
    Oct 15 2013: Disciplined people can work when they are most productive and make more efficient choices as to how to allocate their time among the work and non-work things they need to do. The employer may get more or higher quality work from the more efficient employee and also access high quality employees who are available only if offered such a flexible arrangement.

    Disadvantages employers have noted have been cases in which employees are less productive and diligent outside the supervision and peer pressure of the workplace or unavailable at times when it is important for teams to assemble. It is easier for an organization to sustain highly interactive cultures if people are on the same schedule and often in the same locations.

    Some work requires a person to be on-site for the benefit of the customer or to use facilities and equipment when they can be made available.

    I have assumed here by flexible working that you mean arrangements in which employees negotiate different hours or work locations than whatever is standard. If by flexible working you mean using contractors when you need them rather than maintaining a steady work force of full-time employees, that is a different issue. I expect many of the same firms that engage in flexible work arrangements of the type I assumed in my reply to you find that it is a simple step from there to the use of itinerant contractors and therefore also engage in such arrangements.