Many people cite flexibility in the workplace as a priority—or even a must-have—when job hunting. What does this really mean though? What kind of jobs are flexible jobs?
Flexibility in the workplace has a variety of benefits for those who are able to partake. More time with family, a reduced or eliminated commute, and increased productivity and focus are some of the top benefits of flexible work arrangements.
And flexibility is an asset to employers as well. Workplace flexibility has been shown to reduce employee turnover, increase worker morale, and provide savings on overhead costs.
With the benefits clear, the types of flexible jobs offered is often not. Below, are seven different types of flexible jobs to help you understand what will fit best with your lifestyle.
What are the different types of flexible work arrangements?
Here are the main categories:
Also commonly referred to as work-at-home, work-from-home, virtual, telecommute, distributed, and cloud working jobs, remote positions allow people to work somewhere other than their employer’s place of business.
Remote jobs can be part-time or full-time, permanent or temporary, have set or flexible schedules, and be freelance or employee-based. Some employers allow remote employees to work from any location in the world. Other employers require employees to work from specific countries, states, or cities.
Remote jobs typically involve using the phone and internet and may or may not require talking to people in person.
People who freelance are self-employed, independent contractors. Freelancers work full-time or part-time and often work for more than one employer. Companies that offer freelance positions are not required to provide benefits, pay into workers’ compensation, or withhold payroll taxes.
Because they are not considered employees of the company, freelancers typically have more freedom to choose where and when to complete tasks as long as work meets the company’s expectations.
Other common ways to refer to freelance jobs are contract work, independent contractors, and 1099 positions.
People who work less than 40 hours a week for one employer are typically considered part-time employees. In the past, part-time jobs have been reserved primarily for teenage workers, stay-at-home moms, retirees, and other people not requiring full-time income.
That is not entirely true today, as many professionals are choosing to work more than one part-time job in lieu of full-time employment. Because it is very unlikely that two employers will go out of business at the same time, part-time work offers income security.
This type of flexible work arrangement gives part-timers the opportunity to learn new skills and further their professional networks. Part-time jobs can be found in every industry and for every educational and skill level.
People who wish to work outside traditional business hours often work alternative schedule jobs. Work hours are typically at the discretion of the employer but can include some flexibility as well.
Alternative schedules include early morning, night, and weekend shifts. These flexible jobs are great for people who need to keep their daytime hours open for other commitments, such as childcare, school, or other employment. (Additionally, a recent trend is a shortened work week, or 4 day work week).
Jobs in the flexible schedule category include any type of job flexibility as long as the hours worked are predominantly determined by the worker. Flexible schedules give people control over when they work and the ability to adjust their schedules when needed.
Out of the different types of flexibility in the workplace, positions with scheduling flexibility offer the ultimate in work-life balance. But because the employer doesn’t dictate specific work hours, it can be tricky. In order to be successful working a flexible schedule, it is important to have excellent time management skills. Flexible schedule workers are also typically self-motivated, disciplined, and committed.
(Here’s more information from our sister site, FlexJobs, on companies offering a 4 day workweek).
Sometimes people overlook the benefits of working short-term/temporary jobs. Temporary jobs are often used to fill vacancies left by employees on extended absences, such as maternity leave.
Not only do these short-term positions often result in permanent jobs, they also allow workers to explore different companies, industries, and duties without a long-term commitment.
Short-term flexible jobs are great for keeping up to date on skills, learning how to adapt to new situations, and preventing employment gaps on resumes.
Available in a broad range of industries and professions, seasonal jobs are great for people interested in earning extra money without a long-term obligation.
Flexible jobs in the seasonal category are available throughout the year in a broad range of industries, from holiday retailers to summer theme parks. In addition to earning some extra cash, seasonal jobs offer the chance to work in a new industry and show additional job experience on a resume.
Many seasonal jobs turn into permanent jobs for workers showing above-average ability and dedication. Industries that hire seasonal workers include tourism, wedding, event planning, retail, restaurant, and photography.
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