Flexible work arrangements for small to medium businesses

Flexible work arrangements can support small to medium businesses to attract a diverse workforce and gain a competitive edge.

What are flexible work arrangements?

Flexible work arrangements allow employers and employees to make arrangements about individual working conditions. This can help employers improve the productivity of their business and helps employees maintain a healthy work life balance.

Benefits of incorporating flexible work arrangements into your business

Poor access to flexible work is a significant barrier to women’s workforce participation and is a particular challenge for working parents. Access to flexible work arrangements can help mothers stay in the workforce or come back to work after taking a caring-related break.

The benefits of incorporating flexible work arrangements into your business are:

  • attracting a wider pool of applicants when hiring staff;
  • creating staff flexibility;
  • improving staff work life balance;
  • creating a positive and healthy culture for staff and shared sense of community (personal and working lives);
  • achieving greater productivity as staff experience less burnout and stress;
  • creating a distributed workforce which can result in savings on accommodation; and
  • reducing staff turnover and absenteeism.

Types of flexible work arrangements

Flexible work arrangements can include:

  • job-sharing – where two people share one full-time position;
  • compressing a work week – where employees work full time hours in less than five days;
  • teleworking – where employees work from home or another location during their working week;
  • flexible working hours – where employees start or finish at various times to accommodate personal or family commitments; and
  • flexible rostering – where employees may work split shifts.

Small to medium businesses that have grown using flexible work arrangements

The following businesses showcase how flexible work arrangements can be incorporated into the workplace:

  • Synergy – created personalised agreements for all staff based on their personal circumstances.
  • MKDC – built an agile and activity based working environment.
  • Icelab – implemented a four day working week and built a mobile workforce.