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Flexible & Effective Career Path

Through Alternative Workplace


- Md. Rayhan Morshed

Providing a better ability to balance ones career with outside interests and personal life
demands is often cited by employees as their main reason for choosing their Flexible Work
Practices (FWP). Flexibility allows individuals to improve both their quality of life and work
and engage in opportunities they would otherwise be unable to partake in. (FWPs) can act as
a means to hire or retain individuals with particular skills who are unable, for whatever
reason, to work the traditional full-time, day-shift.
Globalization increases competition, creates interdependency between countries and
establishes the need for a twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week workplace. New
technologies, such as computers, fax machines, cell phones and the internet, have expanded
the temporal and spatial boundaries of work, allowing employees to work at flexible times
and from flexible locations, in order to meet the need for around-the-clock business hours.
The change of workforce demographics due to the increase of dual-earner families and
women participating in the labor force, have made a clear impact on the way companies
operate. Family Friendly Work Practices were originated to suit working women by allowing
them to take care of children, elder dependents, and their house and have a job. Compared to
men, women are more frequent users of FWPs, although males are now also taking advantage
of these alternative working approaches.
Employers adapt to the changing nature of the business environment by establishing FWPs in
an ad hoc manner upon their being presented as being needed recognizing diverse situations
where an employee may want to work flexibly so that they can unite work with other
aspirations. Adopting FWPs allows employers to better coordinate production of goods and
services with consumer and product demand, while providing companies with new
opportunities to reallocate the way their resources are deployed. FWPs are a way for
companies to improve their recruitment and retention of staff with particular skills sets.

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Working altered hours or eliminating the need to commute provides employees with more
personal time. This makes it easier for them to accomplish simple but essential tasks such as
grocery shopping, picking up dry cleaning, or going to a childs school play. Decreasing the
length of a single working shift by even one hour, gives employees that additional time to
take care of necessary tasks without feeling stressed. Flexible employees are also less likely
to take days off because they have more free time built into their schedule.
Today many organizations are pioneering the alternative workplace - the combination of
nontraditional work practices, settings, and locations that is beginning to supplement
traditional offices. Worldwide different companies use various types of alternative workplace
themes to adapt new work arrangement according to their own necessities.
An alternative workplace brings work to the worker rather than the worker to the workplace.
Alternative Workplace Strategy is the coordination of all aspects of the resources required to
enable work wherever and whenever it takes place. The purpose of introducing Alternative
workplace is to reduce cost, increase productivity and flexibility to work from home
especially to attract employees. The act of removing the walls that separate people in
traditional offices can foster teamwork. Alternative workplace enables the employees to do
their job more effectively and efficiently through different ways. Now many companies like
Apple, Microsoft, believe that alternative workplace help to capture the best and the most
creative ideas from employees.
Alternative workplaces are made possible by technologies like email, e-networks, cell
phones, & video conferencing. The current situation of alternative workforce practices of
some renowned foreign companies can be a good example. Like, a survey at IBM reveals that
87% of alternative workplace employees believe their effectiveness has increased
significantly, Sun Microsystems gives many of its designers the option to work at home &
AT&T provides flexible workstations so workers can rotate in and out as needed.
The creative integrated management of workers, the places they work, and the technology
they rely on can reduce workforce support costs by as much as 30% while substantially
improving office productivity, increase effectiveness, decrease teamwork and organizational
cohesion, increase worker satisfaction and retention, implement to everyones participation
and improve organizational agility.
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Difference between Traditional and Alternative Workplace:


Subject of
difference
1. Emphasize
2. Monitoring

productivity
3. Efficiency and quality

of customer service
4. Meeting
5. Problem solving

Traditional
workplace
Traditional office
emphasizes on CHAIN OF
COMMAND.
Managers monitor the
productivity physically.
Managers presence is must
to check out the efficiency
and quality of customer
service.
A group of people meet to
discuss a certain issue.
Employees wait for
supervisor for a quick
meeting.

Alternative
workplace
Alternative workplace
emphasizes on TIME.
Managers dont have to be
physically present to monitor
productivity.
Managers can easily check out
through using telecommuting,
video conferencing and other
online system.
When people meet, they should
decide the issue.
Both manager and employee set
agendas for better preparation.

6. Misuse of time

Here, time is wasting.

Here, time is saving.

7. Expenditure

Infrastructure and
administrative expenditure
are more here.

Using Alternative workplace


indicates the way of less
expenditure.

Marketer can obtain the best benefit from alternative work places. Because todays marketers
have to work for twenty four hour a day, seven days a week, they can reap the best benefit
from alternative work places. If they can enjoy the benefit of alternative work places &
FWPs, they will surely do better in their jobs. Alternative work places and FWPs are
becoming famous nowadays. But in our country it has not been yet become as famous as in
the western countries. But in some multinational corporations like Unilever, Square are
getting the benefit of FWPs. They are getting the best advantage of FWPs because they have
to work for hours and hours to create value for customers and bringing variety of products
and services in front of the customers. FWPs help them to manage their work-life balance.
But normally the upper line executives like brand managers, marketing executives, product
line managers are getting the chance of FWPs in our country.

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