Flexibility in the workplace has many different forms. It includes being able to vary the hours, days and location of work. The types of flexibility that people experience in their workplace varies, depending on the industry they work in and the role they have.

A flexible schedule does not mean that employees can come and go at will. A flexible schedule policy spells out what the employer means by flexible hours. In many workplaces, flexible starting and ending times are easy to implement. A four-day workweek or telecommuting requires more planning, but flexible work schedules are a cornerstone of work-life balance.

Employees value flexible schedules as a way to balance work and non-work responsibilities. Flexible schedules are helpful for workers who are raising families, attending school, commuting long distances, traveling, or balancing multiple jobs.

Employers value flexible scheduling as a method for attracting and retaining employees and for increasing job satisfaction and productivity. A flexible schedule also helps build trust between employees and their managers, as employees are often expected to manage their schedules (with their employer’s supervision) and take ownership of getting the job done even while on an irregular schedule.

According to Stats NZ, 50% of New Zealand employees have flexible work hours which allows them to start and finish work at different times each day. This is one of the most common forms of flexibility offered by businesses. It encourages work-life balance and is liked to attraction and retention in organisations.