Flexible Working: What Are Your Options?

Written by: Laura Chetcuti
Published on: 8 Mar 2016

Flexible Working

Since 30 June 2014, every employee is now granted the statutory right to request flexible working after 26 weeks employment service. 

Flexible working is described by the government as any working pattern that is adapted to fulfill your needs as a HUMAN. We are so lucky to be living in an age where we are remotely connected to just about everything; restaurants, hotels, flights, family members, friends in other locations and, dare I say, work! Providing you enjoy what you do for a living this is actually a great thing. Why? Who wouldn’t want the flexibility to work from home when they need to? No one likes to waste a holiday day on the delivery of a new dishwasher do they? If a business trusts its employees to work autonomously (which it should if it hires the right people) then it should exploit this opportunity and give a little in the way of this inexpensive perk. Flexible working is becoming more and more popular. The days of fixed working hours are slowly dwindling into a new, work-life culture that benefits both the employer and the employee.  

So what is flexible working? Check out your options today and know your rights to a flexible working pattern:


Part-time working

Part-time working is simply any hours an employee is contracted to undertake, which is any length of time under a standard full-time hours contract (minimum full-time hours are generally considered to be 35 per week).


Term-time working

Fantastic for parents with school-aged children, term-time working is a full-time, permanent contract which permits workers to take either paid or unpaid leave during school holidays.



A part time role in which two or more employees share the full-time hours of the same role. 



Flexitime gives full-time employees the autonomy to choose their core working hours, usually within a set remit for the day. For example, employees can work their full day’s hours between 7am-7pm (7am-4pm or 10am-7pm and anything in-between). 


Mobile working/teleworking

This gives workers the opportunity to work a proportion of their hours during the week at a remote location which is not the employer’s workplace. 


Compressed hours

Compressed hours in the simplest terms is not a reduction of hours but a reallocation of work into fewer longer blocks of time during the week. For example, an employee could work 3 days on a 12 hour block rather than 5 days at 7 hours each. 


Annual hours

This is where the total number of hours worked over the year are fixed but the working day/week may be altered into a shift-pattern model. 


Career breaks

Career breaks and sabbaticals can be available from some employers and can extend to as long as 5 years. Usually unpaid, this gives workers the chance to take extended leave for a variety of reasons. 


Working from home on a regular basis

This allows employees to work regularly from home and is a common flexible working option with some roles offered exclusively on this basis. 


Commissioned outcomes

This basically ignores typical working hours and is based purely on the targets of the individual employee. For an extreme example, Grant could hit his 20,000 target for the month in two days, after which he can decide not to work for the rest of the targeted period. 


Zero-hours contracts

An employee has no guarantee in terms of minimum hours worked and can be called upon at any time to work, earning money on an hourly basis. 



If you're thinking about asking for a flexible working pattern just go for it. As long as you've been employed in your current place of work for 26 weeks and you haven't asked in the last 12 months, you have absolutely nothing to lose. Employers are aware that it's your right to ask, and if you don't ask you don't know what's available. 

Now that you know your options why don't you check out some of the opportunities that are available to you right now? We have a number of part-time jobs on our site, as well as a handful of freelance jobs if you're interested in really doing things your own way.