Non-Standard Work Schedules: The Options

Learn about non-standard work schedules, including flextime, part-time, job sharing, telecommute, telecomuting, and a compressed work week.

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The most common elements of non-standard work schedules are:
oNormal>FlextimeWhen the work gets done is flexible. This can mean that the schedule changes from day to day or week to week, or it can mean that the hours are fixed but are not standard (you work from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., for example, instead of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.). When you discuss your work arrangements with your supervisor, be sure that you agree on the definition of flextime.

oNormal>Part-time – Fewer than 40 hours per week, this covers everything from just under what the employer deems full-time to jobs that require only a few hours a week. Part-time jobs can be part-week or part-day. When considering any part-time position, be sure you fully understand what the implications are for benefits such as health insurance and paid vacation time.

oNormal>Job share – Two people share a job, each working part-time. How the hours are shared, whether and how much time there is when the two employees overlap and how they share information are worked out on a case-by-case basis.

oNormal>Compressed workweek – The employee puts in 40 hours in three or four days.

oNormal>Telecommuting – Refers to where the work gets done. Most often, this means working from home on an occasional basis and using phone, fax and a computer to keep in touch with your office. If you have no physical space in the company’s office, this is called “remote” work.

Note: These elements can be combined: Flextime schedules can be full-time or part-time; part-time workers might also telecommute and one job-share partner might work a compressed schedule to make physical room for the other partner.

More on Work & Family Balance: 

  • How to Negotiate a Parent-Friendly Work Schedule
  • Shared Care: When both parents share in the care of their children
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