Talent and HR News Weekly Roundup: Alternative Work Arrangements

There are many companies out there challenging the 9-5 mentality and offering different approaches and options for the way its workforce works. Some work environments don't allow for much flexibility, as there are jobs where you must physically be present, such as a shift at a restaurant or a security guard. Where it is possible though, companies are experimenting with what works for their companies and workforce. Here are some recent trends in alternative and flexible work arrangements, that someday may shift from being "alternative" to being the "norm."

1) Leaders Catching on to Four-day Workweeks from Human Capital Online

"For an increasing amount of companies, four-day work weeks have become standard practice – particularly during the summer months – but is a compressed schedule something you should consider? These advocates think so. “Better work gets done in four days than in five,” says Basecamp CEO Jason Fried. “When there’s less time to work, you waste less time.” The software company shifts to a 32-hour work week from May through to October – giving employees the chance to spend long weekends with their families without taking time off."

2) Want a Flexible Work Schedule? This Knoxville Startup is Now in Nashville to Help You Out from Nashville Business Journal

"Controversial Yahoo policies aside, it's generally accepted that we live in a world where flexible work schedules and settings are, or should be, the norm, especially at tech companies and trendy startups. For proof, look no farther than a story told by Change Healthcare CTO Steve Kukulka during a tech talent salon Tuesday afternoon at entrepreneurship conference 36|86, in which he recalled receiving a note from an employee that read "WFRV." What's that stand for, you ask? "Working from RV.""

3) Are Flexible Work Schedules the Secret to Beating Summer's Productivity Slump? from Fast Company

"When you're stuck inside during one perfect beach day after another, most adults lament the days when they had three solid months off. While it's not practical for most businesses to take the summer off, there are still ways to make the most of the season without letting work responsibilities slip. Last year, a survey found that up to 30% of workplaces offer some version of Summer Fridays. If you’re a manager, this loosening of the reins might make you nervous."

4) Generation Go Wants It All: Flexibility and Career Advancement from Forbes

"For a long time, public opinion labeled millennials as “entitled” or “slackers” whose ambitions don’t match those of the generations that came before them. But these labels have now been widely accepted as myths, disproven by study after study that have shown that millennials are just as willing to put in long hours and advance in their careers as Baby Boomers and members of Generation X. In fact, for this very reason, we refer to millennials as “Generation Go” in our “EY Global Generations” survey."

5) Delivering Stellar Customer Support: Why Distributed Teams Are a Win-Win for Companies and Customers from Venture Beat

"One of the biggest challenges facing companies — from bootstrapped startups to global enterprises — is determining how to build a great customer support team across a rapidly evolving multi-channel marketplace. Fortunately, advances in technology and collaborative productivity tools have disrupted how organizations build their support teams. And as a result, businesses are able to deliver a stellar customer experience — even in today’s always-on social media world of real-time tweets, photos, and customer service complaints. To create an integrated multi-channel customer support team, a growing number of organizations are building distributed customer support teams of specialized agents around the world. This allows them to deploy a real-time contact center comprised of the top talent globally that can handle requests across a variety of channels including voice, email, chat, social media, mobile, video, and written communication."

6) Instacart Shoppers Can Now Choose to Be Real Employees from Wired

"Grocery delivery company Instacart—one of Silicon Valley’s fastest-growing upstarts in the emerging on-demand economy—is giving its army of personal shoppers the chance to become actual employees of the company. Instacart says it is rolling out the option to become part-time employees to its shoppers in Boston and Chicago beginning today. Until now, Instacart’s shoppers all worked as independent contractors. Workers in more cities will get the same option in the coming months, the startup said."

Lexi Gordon is a Lead Consultant for exaqueo, a workforce consultancy that helps organizations build their cultures, employer brands and talent strategies. Contact exaqueo to learn more about how we can help you build a workforce that’s aligned with your company culture and develop an employer brand that will allow your business to scale and grow the right way.

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