Best practices

Rethinking the 9-to-5: Discover flexible work models

Flexible work models are here to stay: Discover all the whys and the hows

During the pandemic, most businesses were forced to implement non-traditional work models (i.e., work from home). Even if the whole world thought it would last for a while and we would all return to the office and the typical work model soon, the post-pandemic world has disproved this theory.

Flexible work models, or less traditional work models, have become more and more popular. And this proves they’re here to stay. For instance, “WFH” recently made it to Merriam-Webster, indicating that such work models are becoming more common among organizations, employers, and employees.

Why people prefer flexible work models

There should be a reason why flexibility at work has gained such popularity. In fact, there are numerous reasons why.

Flexibility at work breaks any schedule and location barriers found in the traditional work environment. As such, employees have more control over their daily lives, which leads to an enhanced work experience. Employees are free to balance their work and day-to-day lives in a way that suits them better. As a result, mental health, productivity, and engagement significantly improve.

In detail:

  • 51% of employees say they have flexible working arrangements in their current role
  • 87% of job candidates think an employer offering work location flexibility is “very important”
  • 43% of people surveyed said that flexible working hours helped them achieve more productivity
  • 80% of respondents said they’d be more loyal to their employer if they were being offered flexible working arrangements
  • 54% of office workers say they’d leave their job for one that offers flexible work time
  • Companies with a highly engaged workforce are 21% more profitable than those with less engaged employees
  • Companies can save around $11,000 per employee per year if they allow their employees to work remotely 50% of the time

With these numbers in mind, organizations must reflect on offering flexible work models to accommodate the needs of their employees but also to reach maximum productivity, increased ROI, and employee retention.

Popular and effective ways to apply flexibility at work

The stats indicate that flexibility at work is an option you should consider providing to your people. However, it’s essential to explore which specific flexible work models best fit your organization and how you can seamlessly implement them.

Compressed workweek

The compressed workweek model is also known as the 4-day workweek model. It is a condensed schedule that aims to increase work-life balance while keeping the same levels of productivity among your teams. This is one of the most popular flexible work models as it offers people the opportunity to work less in a full-time role. The compressed workweek model can be arranged in two ways:

  • Compressed hours: Employees work 40 hours a week, split across four days
  • Reduced hours: Your teams work 32 hours a week, split across five days

This model is incredibly beneficial for organizations with heavy workloads. Retail, healthcare, and manufacturing are some industries where it can be implemented.


  • Work-life balance improves because of an additional day off
  • Time and costs for transportation are reduced
  • Workplace operation hours can be extended in the compressed hours work model


  • Productivity may decline towards the end of the day due to longer daily work hours
  • The organization might be understaffed during busy time periods
  • Meetings can be challenging to plan and schedule

Flexible schedule

Multiple factors influence your employees’ ability to complete their job duties. For instance, taking care of their children, assisting family members in need, or covering long distances to commute to work. So, if remote work for them is not the best option, a flexible work schedule can be a viable solution.

Flextime, or flexible schedule, allows employees to create a custom work schedule based on the needs of their personal lives. They choose when to start and end their workday and when to take a break. Of course, such flexibility is feasible only after reaching an agreement concerning the limits that have to be met with managers to encourage fairness and transparency among teams.

This working model is best implemented if employers minimize disruptions by setting some core office hours during which employees must be available (on-site or online). In that way, there will be some common hours among teams where meetings could be scheduled, communication will be effective, and productivity won’t decrease.


  • Employees can reach higher productivity when working during hours that best suit them
  • Traveling during rush hour can be avoided; time lost for transportation is decreased
  • Emergency leave is reduced as your people can plan around their personal schedules and commitments


  • Flextime management can be complex for large companies
  • There is a great chance of understaffing during busy time periods
  • Employees must be self-disciplined and have strong time management skills

Flexible work models are here to stay: Discover all the whys and the hows

Remote/hybrid work

Remote and hybrid work models are among the most popular, sharing similar pros and cons. However, they tend to be quite different in practice as companies adopt different strategies and mindsets.

Remote work

A remote work arrangement allows employees to perform their tasks beyond the traditional workplace environment. Online tools such as email, video, and communication applications are used to keep employees connected to each other and perform their job-related tasks. People are not forced to be physically located on the organization’s premises to do their job, but they can do so from home, in coffee spots, in libraries, or in other workspaces.

Work from home (WFH) isn’t possible for those operating special equipment, i.e., machinery or vehicles, but it’s popular with knowledge workers.

Also, in the case of remote work, companies slowly ditch traditional workspaces. They may keep a smaller office or rent a common office space to accommodate occasional needs, but, in general, organizations hire people from anywhere and apply a work-from-anywhere policy.

Hybrid work

Some organizations opt for a fully remote policy, allowing employees to work anywhere but the office. In contrast, others prefer a hybrid work model with a blended workforce. In a hybrid work model, employees can work remotely from anywhere, work from home, or physically attend the workplace environment every couple of days, as companies maintain their physical spaces.

Moreover, in the hybrid work model, companies are more open to hiring people from different locations and allow for flexible work schedules. However, they still opt for occasional in-person meetups or might even require employees to be at the office on specific days. In fact, hybrid work brings the most outstanding levels of productivity when following a schedule where people work on-site two to three times a week, and the rest are spent in a remote location.


  • Workplace distractions can be minimized
  • Transportation costs and time loss decrease
  • Employees have greater flexibility concerning their work schedules
  • It’s easier for organizations to broaden their recruitment horizons as they don’t need to worry about geographic restrictions
  • There’s more room for building a diverse and inclusive workforce


  • There’s a high chance for less peer-to-peer interactions between colleagues and a risk of a compromised workplace culture
  • Training remote teams can be a rather challenging task
  • It might not be easy to monitor employee performance
  • There can be plenty of technical or IT-related issues that hinge workflow and productivity
  • Cyber attacks might be more frequent, and if employees aren’t adequately trained, the organization’s sensitive data is highly threatened

Investing in flexibility is the future of your business

While examining the most popular options regarding flexible work models, it’s essential to bear in mind your business’s and your people’s needs.

Gather feedback from employees instead of assuming their preferences. This way, you will be able to understand what your teams genuinely value and offer the right solution to boost satisfaction and engagement rates.

But it would be best if you also ensured that any organizational changes are cost-effective for your business, don’t interfere with operations, and don’t create inequality among your team members.

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