Alternative Scheduling Ideas - Outside the US
Six alternative schedules which companies are using to attract and retain talent include a four-day workweek, job sharing, compressed workweek, do-it-yourself paid time off, results-only work environment, and time-agnostic work.
WORK SCHEDULES USED BY COMPANIES TO ATTRACT AND RETAIN TALENT
1. FOUR_DAY WORKWEEK
- A four-day workweek provides reduced hours by which employees can work for 28 hours in four days and have a three-day weekend.
- According to an employee at Perpetual Guardian, a four-day workweek means cutting working time from 37.5 to 30 hours per week.
- Employees who follow a four-day workweek do not need to work on the same days of the week. Just as BLS workdays are from Tuesday to Thursday, companies can allow employees to decide to take Monday or Friday off.
- This schedule led to a 20% rise in productivity and seemed to have caused increased profits and improved staff wellbeing.
- It also reduced stress, drove staff engagement, and fueled the hope that a better work-life balance might soon materialize.
- Implementation of the four-day work scheduled led to decreased staff stress levels (45%-30%) and increased work-life balance scores (54%-78%).
- Reduced customer satisfaction due to fewer workdays.
- It is usually confused with the compressed workweek.
- Some companies that observe this work schedule include Perpetual Guardian (New Zealand), Wellcome Trust (Britain), Synergy Vision (Britain), Elektra Lighting (Britain), Lara Intimates (Britain), Intrepid Camera (Britain), and Conversation Creation (UK).
2. JOB SHARING
- This schedule allows two employees to form a partnership to perform one job.
- It is a type of regular part-time work in which two people combine to assume responsibility for full-time work by splitting the hours.
- It provides "enhanced problem solving by having two people work on the task."
- This schedule allows for continuous work even during absences, as there is always a replacement.
- It provides high peak workloads by two people.
- No additional expenses.
- There is the challenge of finding compatible partners.
- It might be difficult to find partner replacement.
- Reversing arrangements could cause problems.
- There is a need for extra supervision effort in monitoring two people instead of one.
- Some companies that follow this schedule include ANZ (Australia), Department of Defense (Australia).
3. COMPRESSED WORKDAYS/WORKWEEK
In a compressed workweek, employees can work full-time hours for fewer days. A conventional type is four days for 10 hours each.
- The additional day off gives employees a better work-life balance.
- Employees still have full pay and benefits.
- Reduced commuting time and costs
- Some positions may not be suitable for more extended hours because of the increased risk of injuries or errors.
- Less supervision at some periods.
- Compressed workdays could cause understaffing at some periods.
- It could create difficulties with scheduling meetings.
- Longer schedules could lead to lower productivity at the end of the day.
- Some companies that observe this work schedule include Hilton (Australia), ANZ (Australia), and Department of Defense (Australia).
4. DO-IT-YOURSELF PTO
- In this schedule, companies let their employees decide the days they would get off for holidays, and allows them to use those off days whenever they want.
- Do-it-yourself PTO also called unlimited annual leaves, gives employees the ability to decide the appropriate time off.
- Companies can retain and recruit top talent.
- Employees have boosted morale, productivity, and the company will see increased profitability.
- It relieves the burden of tracking time-offs.
Some companies that follow this work schedule include Hilton (Australia), ANZ (Australia), HSBC (Australia), Bendelta (Australia), Inventium (Australia).
5. RESULTS-ONLY WORK ENVIRONMENT (ROWE)
- This schedule depicts a work environment where nothing matters but the results.
- Cali Ressler and Jody Thompson developed ROWE.
- In ROWE, employees are measured by performance, results, or output, rather than their physical presence or number of hours worked.
- Employees have greater control over their work schedule and improved work-life balance.
- Fewer work-family conflicts.
- Positive effect on the overall health of the employees.
- Higher job satisfaction and organizational commitment.
- According to Jonathan Slater, Managing Director and Founder of Ferris Slater, ROWE is mostly suited to experienced professionals who can manage themselves.
- Some companies that follow this work schedule include Ferris Slater (UK) and 33 Talente (UK location, HQ in Singapore).
6. TIME-AGNOSTIC WORK
In the time-agnostic work schedule, employees can choose when they want to work.
- It is a system that lets employees have scheduling control, rather than the company/leader.
- Employees still have their full pay and benefits, but they work their hours in their own time.
- Employees have decreased stress levels, reduced burnout, and higher engagement.
- They also have higher job satisfaction and productivity.
- Employees may not be present in-house when needed.
- Some companies that follow this work schedule include the Department of Defense (Australia), the7stars (UK), and Potato (UK).
We first looked for a pre-compiled list of alternative schedules implemented in areas such as the UK, Europe, Asia, Middle East, Australia, and other countries outside of the US. However, we were unable to find information specific to these areas, so we decided to go with a general list. We were able to find two sources which provided relevant information, and we used them to guide the report.
To determine whether there are companies outside the US that are using the identified methods, we selected the approaches/alternatives that are implemented by these companies. We then looked for pros and cons delivered to the companies implementing the alternatives. We also used general pros and cons when specific pros and cons were not available.