HRM Five: Enabling a flexible workplace

Options for flexible workplaces which offer the opportunity for stronger morale, better productivity, and breakthrough innovation.
By: | April 17, 2019

HRM Five offers important pointers on everything you wanted to know about HR practices today, but were too afraid to ask. Check out previous editions of HRM Five here.


Agility is set to be a key differentiation factor for both employees and the organisations that employ them in 2019.

It’s not just something that key talents are demanding be built into their job profiles – there are direct rewards for employers from having a flexible, well-balanced workforce.

Flexible workplaces offer the opportunity for stronger morale, better productivity, and breakthrough innovation. But there are some things holding many employers back in particular. The lack of infrastructure, processes, and systems that enable staff to work in their most productive manner is seen as one of the biggest barriers.

So how can an organisation get started on being “flexible”? In this HRM Five, we break down some of the easiest-to-implement options below.

1. Telecommuting

Essentially, telecommuting employees don’t physically enter the office. They work from home, or from their local Starbucks, or some other venue that keeps them connected and productive.

Telecommuting opens up your options for labour – you can hire the right person for the job, even if they’re living five time-zones away.


2. Flexitime

As the name suggests, flexitime offers flexibility in how working hours are served. This could be as simple as allowing people to come in earlier, and leaving earlier – or coming in later, and leaving later.

It could also mean allowing employees to figure out their times so long as that they are present within a ‘core’ period (for example, 11am to 3pm) and complete their minimum hours.


3. Compressed work week

Instead of working eight hour days, five times a week, what if you worked 10-hour days, four times a week? Sure, the days are longer, but you then have a three-day weekend to rest and recharge.

Or how about working nine-hour days for nine days, and taking the 10th off? That could work out to every other Friday, for example.

This arrangement is common among shift-workers like doctors and nurses, and offers different possibilities for each company.


4. Part-time

Part-timers work less, but they are also paid less. They might come in 3 days a week, or just every morning, or maybe even work 30-hour weeks. Their salary and benefits are accordingly pro-rated.

With many countries facing ageing populations and falling birth rates, part-time arrangements will be particularly sought after by employees who are also caregivers at home.


5. Job sharing

Job sharing is similar to part-time work, in that two part-timers share one position – with all the responsibilities and milestones that might entail. Job sharing requires more time and effort to put together, because the two sharing employees will need to see eye-to-eye, but HP Inc is one company that has made it work.

The first-ever HR Festival Asia, brought to you by the combined experience of HR Technology Conference & Exposition (US) and HR Summit (Asia) will delve deeper into how organisations can better enable flexible workspaces – and why this is beneficial for the business in the long-run. 

At the event’s dedicated Smart Workforce & Innovation stream, expert presenters will divulge how organisations can redesign your existing business models to increase mobility, responsiveness and agility. Delegates will have the opportunity to learn more about mobile workforces and uncover how to make training flexible, fast and efficient, whilst identifying and facilitating the development of critical technological savviness for tomorrow’s workplace.

For more information, visit