Friday, August 19, 2011

Looking for a Flexible Work Arrangement

Many job seekers desire a flexible work arrangement, particularly those wishing for a better work/home-life balance. Advancements in technology and remote access to office networks, systems, and people have made flexible work arrangements more feasible for many employers and employees. Some employers are even discovering advantages to these arrangements, for example, by saving money on office space, being able to attract top job candidates, and improving employee retention.

Making Work Arrangements More Flexible

Following are some of the most common arrangements for flexible work schedules:
Part time: Working less than 40 hours per week (typically between 17 and 25 hours).
Flex time: Adjusting daily start and end times to accommodate earlier or later arrivals (based on a standard 9 to 5 shift). An example: Working a 6:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. shift.
Compressed work week: Working a 40-hour, full-time schedule within a compressed work week, for example, a four-day week.
Telecommuting: Working from a remote location, usually a home office.
Job share: Sharing job responsibilities with another employee by splitting hours in a work week.

Searching for Opportunities

To research whether companies of interest offer flexible work arrangements, look for careers and job postings on the company website. Inquire within your network and explore other websites, like, that provide company reviews based on anonymous employee feedback.
If a company recruiter arranges an interview for you, ask about the company’s work schedule, which may lead to an informal inquiry about whether the company allows flexible work arrangements. If you interview for and are offered a full-time position but are still interested in a flexible arrangement, consider exploring the topic during negotiations. If the employer seems skeptical, propose starting small–maybe suggest a trial period or working a half day from home each week. If the employer opposes any flexible work arrangements, carefully consider whether this is the right job for you.

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