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Flexible Work Arrangement: What Is It, & Does It Help with Workplace Productivity?

Mon, 21 Aug 2023

Flexible Work Arrangement: What Is It, & Does It Help with Workplace Productivity?

Are you tired of the traditional 9-to-5 work schedule? Do you find yourself yearning for more flexibility and control over your work-life balance? If so, you're not alone.

There has been a growing trend towards flexible work arrangements in recent years, and it's easy to see why.

With advancements in technology and a shift in attitudes towards work, more and more companies are embracing flexible work arrangements as a way to boost productivity and employee satisfaction.

In this article, we will explore the concept of flexible work arrangements and delve into the research to determine whether it truly enhances productivity.

What is Flexible Work Arrangement?

Flexible work arrangement refers to an alternative or adjusted work scheduling structure that gives employees the opportunity to vary their work hours and location as opposed to adhering to the traditional 9 to 5 workday fixed in a specific workplace.

This arrangement provides employees with a level of autonomy and flexibility, allowing them to balance their work and personal commitments more effectively.

The concept is built on the notion that work does not necessarily need to be done at a specific time and place, and the traditional 'one-size-fits-all' approach might not be the most efficient or productive for all employees.

Types of Flexible Work Arrangements


Flextime is a flexible work arrangement that allows employees to set their start and end times for their workday. 

The employer typically establishes a set of core hours when everyone must be present, but outside of those hours, employees can come and go as they please as long as they complete their required hours by the end of the week.

This type of flexible schedule is particularly beneficial for employees who have personal commitments during traditional working hours, such as picking up children from school or attending medical appointments. It can also be advantageous for workers who are more productive at certain times of the day.

Compressed Workweek

A compressed workweek involves working longer hours on fewer days. 

One common example is the "4/10" schedule, in which employees work four 10-hour days and then have three days off. Another example is the "9/80" schedule, where employees work nine hours a day for nine days over two weeks and then have one day off.

The compressed workweek can be a great solution for employees who prefer to have more consecutive days off and are willing to work longer hours on the days they work. 

From the employer's perspective, this can lead to longer operating hours and increased productivity. However, considering potential downsides, such as employee fatigue from longer work days, is essential.

Job Sharing

Job sharing is a flexible work arrangement where two people share the responsibilities of one full-time job. Each person works part-time and often has a set schedule. The job sharers might work on different days or split the workday, depending on the needs of the organisation and the preferences of the employees.

Job sharing can be beneficial for employees who want to work part-time but still want to maintain their career progression. It can also be advantageous for the employer as it allows for a broader range of skills and experiences to be brought to the role. This can result in increased productivity and improved employee satisfaction and retention.


Telecommuting, also known as remote work, is a flexible work arrangement allowing employees to work from home or another location outside the traditional office. This can be on a full-time basis, or employees might have the option to telecommute on certain days of the week.

The ability to telecommute can provide employees with a better work-life balance, eliminating commute times and allowing for more flexibility in managing personal responsibilities. It can also result in increased productivity, as employees often report fewer distractions and interruptions when working from home. 

However, it's crucial for employers to provide the necessary tools and technology for remote work and to maintain communication and team cohesion.

Benefits of Flexible Work Arrangements

Improvement of Work-Life Balance

Flexible work arrangements are instrumental in enhancing work-life balance for employees. These arrangements allow employees the freedom to juggle between professional and personal tasks effectively. For instance, an employee could adjust their schedule to accommodate a doctor's appointment without having to take an entire day off. This flexibility in scheduling ensures that employees are not overwhelmed by work and can devote adequate time to their personal life as well.

Moreover, flexible work arrangements can help reduce commute time and expenses, allowing employees more time and resources for their personal and family life. This balance between professional and personal life is crucial for an employee's overall well-being, improving their life satisfaction and productivity at work.

Reduction of Absences and Stress Levels

Flexible work arrangements can significantly reduce absences and stress levels among employees. This is because they can easily fit in personal appointments or deal with unexpected events without having to miss work entirely.

Additionally, the freedom to manage their own time reduces stress levels among employees. Traditional, rigid work hours can often lead to heightened stress and burnout. 

However, when employees have some control over their work hours and location, they can work at their own pace and when they are most productive, leading to a healthier work environment.

Increase in Motivation and Productivity

Flexible work arrangements are found to be a significant motivator for employees. The ability to work in a way that suits their lifestyle and personal commitments makes employees feel valued and trusted. This increased job satisfaction leads to higher motivation levels, which, in turn, results in increased productivity.

Moreover, employees working under flexible arrangements are often more productive than their counterparts in traditional setups. This is because such employees can perform during their most productive hours and in an environment that suits them the best. 

For instance, some people might be more productive late at night, while others might work better in a quiet home environment.

Benefits to Employers

Employers also stand to gain from implementing flexible work arrangements. Firstly, they benefit from increased productivity as employees are more motivated and can work during their most productive hours. This can lead to improved business performance and growth.

Secondly, employers can also save on overhead costs. When employees work from home, companies can save on office space, utilities, and other associated costs. This is especially beneficial for startups and small businesses looking to minimise operational costs. Finally, flexible work arrangements often improve trust in the employer-employee relationship. When employees are given the freedom to manage their own time and work in a way that suits them best, they feel trusted and valued. This can boost their loyalty and commitment to the organisation, leading to lower turnover rates and a more engaged workforce.

Challenges in Implementing Flexible Work Arrangements

Difficulty in Monitoring Productivity

When employees work in a traditional office setting, it's easier to supervise and monitor their work. However, when employees work from home or have flexible hours, it can be challenging to ensure they stay productive and meet their work goals.

Employers may worry that employees will take advantage of the flexibility and not work as hard or as efficiently. It requires high trust and effective communication between the employer and the employees.

Communication and Collaboration Challenges

Flexible work arrangements can also pose challenges to communication and collaboration. 

When employees are working remotely or on different schedules, it can be harder to coordinate team meetings or collaborative projects. This may lead to miscommunication or delays in work processes.

Maintaining Company Culture

Another challenge of flexible work arrangements is maintaining a strong company culture. Employees not physically present in the office may feel disconnected from the company and their colleagues. 

This can impact employee engagement and loyalty, which are crucial for company culture.

Ensuring Work-Life Balance

Lastly, while flexible work arrangements are often viewed as a way to improve work-life balance, they can also blur the line between work and personal life. 

For instance, employees may find it difficult to switch off from work mode when working from home, leading to burnout and decreased productivity.

Should Flexible Work Arrangement Be Considered?

Considering flexible work arrangements could be a smart move for companies seeking to maximise workplace productivity.

It allows employees to work in a manner that best suits their personal needs and lifestyles, which, in turn, can lead to increased satisfaction and a more balanced work-life scenario.

Upscale offers a vast range of job listings that enable employers to attract a broader range of applicants while creating an environment that promotes employee satisfaction. Don't just take our word for it - Upscale is trusted by over 500+ corporate partners to help fill their job openings with the best-fit candidates.

Go to upscale.my to reach out to us today.