Optional Ways to Work

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The traditional methods of work may increase stress and imbalance in life. Each person is unique, and providing different work options will allow people to choose the method that helps them be their most productive and maintain their balance. While it may not be possible to provide every option, allowing for different work styles will improve company culture and promote balance. Each option comes with its own pros and cons, so examine them carefully before choosing a new way to work.

Telecommuting

Given the way we use technology, telecommuting is a popular work option. This allows people to work from home and send their projects in when they are due.

Pros:

Cost: Companies can reduce overhead and other costs by allowing employees to work from home.

Productivity: People who work from home are often more productive.

Lowers stress: Many employees benefit from losing morning commutes and distracting office mates.

Personal control: Employees who work from home are able to take responsibility for their own schedules.

Cons:

Communication: When all communication is electronic, employees may not communicate as well as they can face-to-face. Additionally, a lack of social interaction can isolate employees and stunt company culture.

Motivation: People who are not self-driven are not successful need more accountability than telecommuting offers.

Longer hours: Some people work longer hours when they telecommute because there is no distinction between work and home.

Job Sharing

Job sharing is a popular option that allows employees to balance their work and home lives. This technique allows two people to share a job, with each one working part-time hours.

Pros:

Better attendance: When people have the time to handle personal matters, they are less likely to miss work.

Continuity: With two people sharing a job, there is always someone to come in and cover for a sick employee.

Morale: Employees who are able to find work life balance have better morale and productivity.

Cons:

Conflict: People who want to be in control may not enjoy having an equal share their responsibilities. This can cause conflicts between job sharers.

Inequality: If one employee is more effective than the other, that employee may shoulder too much responsibility.

More paper work: Employers have to double the paperwork for shared jobs.

Job Redesign

Sometimes it is necessary to redesign a position to alleviate stress. This requires analyzing and changing the scope and responsibilities of a position in a way that will motivate employees and improve their work life balance.

The method:

Content: Discover what information leads to problems at work.

Information: Analyze job information to find inconsistencies.

Elements: Change the elements of the job.

Description: Rewrite the job description.

Responsibilities: Refocus responsibilities based on the description.

Flex Time

Flex time does not alter the number of hours employees work, but it does give them the flexibility to choose when they work. For example, an employee may choose to come at 7:00 am and leave at 4:00 pm to spend time with family.

Pros

Productivity: People are more productive when they know that they will be able to take care of their other obligations.

Morale: Everyone’s internal clock is different. People are happier when they can work at their optimal times.

Cons

Difficult to manage: Managers may have trouble coordinating meetings when everyone works different hours.

Miscommunications: It is easy to forget to communicate ideas with people who have already left for the day.

 

More About Work-Life Balance

Benefits of a Healthy Work-life Balance
Signs of a Work-life Imbalance
Employer Resources to Improve Work-life Balance
Tips in Time Management for Work-life Balance
Goal Setting to Improve Work-life Balance
Work-life Balance At Work
Work-life Balance At Home
Stress Management for Work-life Balance
Work-life Balance for Working in a Home Office