5 Flexible Alternatives to the Traditional 9 to 5 Schedule
by Brie Reynolds
Brie Weiler Reynolds is the Director of Content and Social Media at FlexJobs, the award-winning site for telecommuting, flexible schedule, and freelance job listings. With a background in human resources and career advising, Brie has over 8 years experience working with job seekers and employers, and she offers career, hiring, and work-life balance advice through the FlexJobs Blog and social media.
For many women looking to go back to work or change their career paths, the traditional 9am to 5pm workday simply doesn’t cut it. Whether for family obligations, or commute stress, or a desire for more work-life balance, regular office hours are becoming less desirable. But what are the alternatives?
Flexible job options are becoming more common as employees and employers alike realize that work can be accomplished at different hours of the day, in different locations, and using different methods. Here are five flexible alternatives to the traditional 9 to 5 schedule.
An estimated 50 million American workers have jobs that could be done from home offices, yet only 2-3 million telecommute on a regular basis. Because commutes to work average 30 minutes each way, workers gain an extra hour of time for every day they telecommute.
And telecommuting jobs have increased 41 percent over the last decade, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, so finding an at-home job is easier than ever before. To find a telecommuting job, search for keywords like “telecommute,” “telework,” and “remote work.” Avoid phrases like “work from home” and “work at home” which are commonly used with scam job listings.
Another way to spend less time on the road and more time enjoying life is to change your normal work hours to an off-peak schedule. People who work from 7am to 3pm or 11am to 7pm will have shorter commutes because of less traffic congestion, and they can enjoy their mornings or afternoons as they see fit. If you’re an early riser or a night-owl, working a flexible schedule will give you more freedom to enjoy the day (or night) however you want.
If the thought of a long weekend EVERY weekend sounds enticing to you, consider working a compressed workweek. By working 10 hours a day, Monday through Thursday, you can take Friday off to spend as you please. Or, work Tuesday through Friday and take off Mondays every week. That free day each week can be spent catching up on household chores, volunteering at your child’s school, picking up an old hobby, visiting with friends and family, or simply relaxing around the house.
This arrangement allows employees to bank extra vacation hours by working more when they’re able. If you know you want two days off next week, consider working an extra three hours each day this week. The best part about a flextime schedule is that you’re open to whatever life throws at you, and your work schedule can be as free and flexible as you are. So if you want to have extra time off for whatever comes up in your personal life, this is a great option.
Essentially, a job share means that two people are working reduced hours or part-time schedules to fill the role of one full-time position. The two job sharers may work 20 hours a week each, or one might work 30 and the other 10. Each job share is unique, but it’s literally two people sharing one job. The best job sharing arrangements are between two responsible people with complementary skills sets who are each committed to the job. Job shares allow you to be a part of your profession while working a part-time schedule.
Flexible jobs are available in almost every industry, and for all career levels, from entry-level through executive. By searching for these keywords when looking for your next job, you’ll pull up job openings that offer alternative scheduling and support work-life balance.