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Job and private life Flexible career and working time models

Most organizations offer employees increased flexibility when it comes to working hours or career paths. The most common models are flextime, part time and home office.

Reconciling professional and private priorities

The increased flexibility allows employees to better align their professional responsibilities and personal priorities. These options, in return, enhance the employee’s motivation and strengthen his or her loyalty to the company. Today, employers should also allow more flexibility with respect to the management of responsibilities: Job sharing models where two employees share one position could also be implemented for leadership functions.

What are key internal requirements?

The organization’s top management needs to assert that this is a fruitful investment in employee morale. In addition to standardized part time models, organizations are increasingly willing to also work out individual solutions.

Two additional key requirements involve the IT backbone (i.e. time accounts) and the involvement of worker representatives into the development of such measures. For job sharing models it is essential to assure a good fit of the respective manager tandems and to clearly define roles and responsibilities. Finally, such measures should be supported by appropriate internal and external communications activities.

What are key success factors?

The management of the organization

  • is deeply committed to the issue;
  • is prepared to offer individual solutions, not just „standard programs“;
  • takes a pragmatic approach (e.g. starts with a pilot project);
  • keeps employees on parent leave actively informed about available models;
  • communicates the different models openly and showcases success stories.

Tips for smaller organizations

  • Smaller organizations must assure that individual working hour models do not impact customer satisfaction. This can be achieved for instance by defining core times or working out appropriate substitution arrangements.
  • Smaller organizations must assure that individual working hour models do not impact customer satisfaction. This can be achieved for instance by defining core times or working out appropriate substitution arrangements.

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