Proven Alternative Work Schedules for Workplaces

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Finding the traditional 9-5 work day to be a slog lately? Here are a few proven alternative work schedules you could try following instead.

If the traditional work day schedule has become a bit more difficult for you to handle, then you’ll be relieved to know you probably aren’t alone.

Benefits provider Unum recently discovered in a survey that flexible work schedules are regarded as the second most popular benefit for an employee to have.

So if you feel ready to break away from the standard work day (and your workplace is flexible enough to allow it), look below for a few proven alternative work schedules you could attempt to follow instead.

Alternative Work Schedules #1 – The Common Window

Whilst not too radical a change, the common window alternative work schedule allows you to work for a set number of hours, within any time window of the day.

In essence, rather than being forced to work from the pre-set 9am until 5pm, alternative work schedules like the common window mean that you can come to an agreement with your employer to work within a more flexible timeframe.

For example, if you were required to work for 7.5 hours each day, you could suggest to your employer that you would work from 8:30am to 4:30pm instead.

This covers the necessary required hours but allows for leniency when it comes to travelling at certain times of the day, ensuring you can still meet other commitments outside of work.

Alternative work schedules like the common window are becoming more popular, as employers try to meet the specific needs of every individual in their workforce.

Alternative Work Schedules #2 – The Four-Day Workweek.

Your employer may start to panic as soon as you mention the words “four-day workweek” but an experiment ran by New Zealand firm, Perpetual Guardian, may settle their concerns.

Initially, it may be obvious to suggest that only working four days out of five in the week could lead to lower productivity and lower employee engagement.

However, results from the experiment have proved the exact opposite of this. The company found that the levels of productivity from workers stayed consistent.

Better yet, they found that employee attitudes to their work-life balance improved at a rate of 24%, something that was completely unexpected.

This is due to the motivational boost that the promise of a four-day workweek provides, with workers feeling much more inclined to power through their current workload knowing that they will be rewarded with a day away from the workplace every week.

Alternative work schedules like this also come with a degree of flexibility for employers too. It allows them to set any specific work days within the workweek window (e.g. Tuesday to Friday).

For businesses that know the times that they are busiest, this can prove to be an advantage whilst at the same time, motivating and inspiring workers to rise to workplace challenges.

Alternative Work Schedules #3 – The Compressed Workday

While it’s important to take regular breaks and consider going for a walk during lunch time, the compressed workday is an alternative for those who would prefer to keep work within the office and leisure time to be spent away from it.

In alternative work schedules like these, employees will work during regularly set hours as with the common window schedule.

However, rather than allowing for a lunch break, the compressed workday instead means that employees will work to a slightly earlier finish to compensate.

Commonly, this type of alternative work schedule often uses hours such as 8am to 1pm or 7am to 12pm.

Again, a slight change such as this to the workday may be enough to put a business into a panicked frenzy, but much like a four-day workweek, workers feel more inclined to put in their best efforts with the shorter timeframe set.

With many facts and statistics often suggesting that afternoons are the least productive time of the day, this type of work schedule allows businesses to get the optimal amount of productivity from workers earlier.

Have you tried any of these alternative work schedules at your current place of work? Or would you be willing to suggest them to your employer to combat the fatigue of constant 9-5s?

Let us know in the comments below.

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Sam Rose

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