Flexible working

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[edit] Introduction

The term “flexible working” refers to arrangements which vary from the “standard” pattern of work. They allow for greater flexibility in terms of duration of work, the allocation of working time, or a combination of the two. Flexible working systems are characterised by the ease with which they can be adapted to changing requirements.

Flexibility in timing and distribution of working time
Shift working: Work at staggered times of varying or unchanged duration. Multiple people occupy the same workspace at different times of the day and night.
Flexitime: Employees are free to choose the timing and duration of their daily working hours within certain limits. Employees must be present during required core hours.
“Modular” system: Employees or groups can build their own working time model. Daily, weekly, monthly or annual models are possible.
Annualised working hours: Contractually agreed working hours are not divided up evenly. Instead, they are worked over the course of a year as governed by varying workloads and the interests of employees.
“Trust-based” working time: The focus under this system is on results [rather than hours worked]. Employees determine their working hours themselves, subject to statutory requirements.
Sabbatical: A longer period away from work which an employee can use to pursue individual interests such as family, continuing education and training or travel. Employees usually remain in the employ of the employer and return to their previous job, or a similar one, after the end of the sabbatical.


Tools for organisation of working time
Working time account: A working time account is a tool for recording time worked and any differences between actual and agreed working time. Employees build up or draw on “credit” which is then “settled” within a specific period. This model is particularly useful in situations where volumes of work vary.
Long-term working time accounts/“life” accounts
[Langzeitkonto/Lebensarbeitszeitkonto]: Unlike working time accounts, long-term working time accounts are not settled over the short to medium term. They are used to amass more “credit” and are intended to be used for different purposes, such as sabbaticals.
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