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Unusual Work Schedules: Alternatives to Standard Office Hours

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Today there is a wide range of variations of traditional work schedule. Companies can offer more flexible options for employees by alternating the duration of the workday, time of the day and days of the week. Shift work, part-time work, staggering hours, overtime are quite common nowadays. However, there is a number of unusual work schedules that can surprise you.

Let’s take a look at a mind-blowing selection of what your office hours may look like.


This progressive work schedule allows employees to choose their own office hours or work remotely. It helps employees to improve work-life balance and to catch their most productive hours at work. It is also a good option for international teams that need to take into account time-zones when scheduling conference calls. In case of online meeting across Atlantic, overtime isn’t an issue, as employees start their workday later.

Other benefits of flextime include a high level of satisfaction, increased motivation and an opportunity to prioritize family interests at the same time.

Possible drawback: The implementation of flextime leads to the situation when every employee has his or her own schedule. It’s hard to navigate in this chaos. This problem can be solved by planning attendance with leave management system. It set the order allowing to see colleagues’ plans.

Results-Only Work Environment (ROWE)

The work schedule that is more flexible than the flextime itself. Employees do the work the way they want, at any place and any time. They are paid based on the results and not the time they worked. This unusual work schedule has been implemented by such giants as Gap Outlet, for example. ROWE work schedule aimed to increase employee productivity and engagement.

Possible drawback: ROWE won’t suit any company. It works to certain business areas and to certain employee personalities. As Gap reports, it becomes hard for employees to find a work-life balance, which leads to burnout. Another issue is a no-show practice. Some of the employees never show up in the office. This can be solved by motivating team to come to the office for regular meetings and corporate events.

Job Sharing

According to a SHRM study, job sharing is a new alternative work schedule for decreasing turnover and increasing productivity. It’s applicable to many business areas and helps to achieve flexibility and work-life balance. Job sharing is a work arrangement that allows two employees share one full-time job. A benefit for the employer is that he gets two talents at half-price. Employees have less workload and can prioritize family time. Vacation time and benefits are calculated based on contributed hours.

Possible drawback: Splitting responsibilities and tasks between two employees might be complicated. A perfect situation is when two employees have the complementary skill set and act like a single individual. It might be a hard task for HR to find a perfect match.

Accountability is another potential problem. Job sharing might lead to unfinished tasks due to the lack of communication between two partners. However, it is unlikely to happen as job sharing is a highly motivating work schedule. Although, it requires a high level of trust and understanding between partners.

To conclude, alternative work schedules is a reality we have to acknowledge. Companies want to improve work-life balance and increase the productivity of their employees. So, the flexibility of work schedule is ahead of other things.

About the author


Marina Pilipenko

Marina Pilipenko is a Marketing Manager at actiTIME, a time-tracking software company. She writes about productivity and time management and enjoys outdoor in her free time.