What is a Flexible Work Arrangement?

Flexible work schedules at MSU entail arrangements between supervisors and employees that allow employees to complete their employment duties while working non-traditional schedules.

Flexible Work Arrangements ARE:

  • Flexible, they include variations in when, where, and/or how work is done
  • Focused on overall business goals, rather than case-by-case accommodations to individuals
  • Planned and predictable
  • Structured to emphasize the long-term rather than the short-term

Flexible Work Arrangements ARE NOT:

  • An entitlement or reward
  • A secret arrangement or special deal
  • For every employee or every job

Examples include:

  • Non-traditional start and end times (such as working 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., or 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.)
  • Extended meal times offset by additional hours worked at the beginning or end of the shift (such as working 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.)
  • Start and end times individualized by day (such as working 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Wednesday and 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday and Friday.) *
  • Longer work days with shorter work weeks (such as working four 10-hour days and having three days off.) *

*Certain unions, including 1585 Service Maintenance, 999 Skilled Trades and 547 Power Plant may prohibit arrangements that entail working more than 8 hours per day unless overtime is provided. Flexible schedule options should never entail overtime. Arrangements which entail working more than 8 hours in a day or more than 40 hours in a week may be impacted by the requirements of certain Union Contracts. For assistance in determining if a specific flexible work arrangement meets the requirements of a particular union contract, consult with MSU Human Resources at (517) 353-4330 or (517) 353-5510.

Why Flexibility?

Flexible scheduling can improve the employees’ quality of life while enhancing business results. Economically, flexible scheduling makes sense for employers competing in a global economy to hire and retain knowledgeable employees. Flexibility is cost efficient, Deloitte and Touche LLP reported $41.5 million in turnover-related savings in 2003.3 Recently the President of Families and Work Institute noted that 47% of businesses provide flexible scheduling as a recruitment and retention tool.4  

A 2000 report by the Boston College Center for Work and Family reported:

  • 87% of employees and 70% of managers report positive effects on productivity
  • 87% of employees and 65% of managers report positive effects on quality of work
  • 80% of employees and 76% of managers report positive impact on retention
  • 75% of managers reported no change in their workload, while nearly all believe that work group productivity and job performance was the same or better.3

3 Women’s Bureau, U.S. Department of Labor, Flex-Options: Why Flexible Workplace Policies are Good for Business, 2006.  
Corporate Voices for Working Families, http://www.cvworkingfamilies.org/.