University of California, Berkeley

Flexible Work Arrangements

Flexible work arrangements are not new to the University. Faculty, for example, have always had considerable flexibility in scheduling their work hours and were "telecommuting" before telephones even existed (working at home or when traveling).

In addition, managers have often had great flexibility in arranging their schedules and in working away from campus on business trips. In recent years, staff employees have been making increased use of flexible work arrangements. A significant percentage of employees already use some type of flexible work arrangement; that is, they do not work the once-standard University schedule of 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. with lunch from 12:00 to 1:00 p.m. (see Chapter 8 in the Guide to Managing Human Resources: Hours of Work).

Exploring the Possibilities

UC Berkeley offers a wide array of work arrangements. The two broadest groupings are fixed arrangements and variable arrangements. Fixed arrangements are those which have stable, established days and hours of work. Variable arrangements, in contrast, provide for daily, weekly, monthly, or annual fluctuations in scheduling.

Most people seem to prefer to settle into a fixed arrangement of some sort, because the predictability of regular patterns of daily activity makes our work and personal lives easier to manage. However, for many people, even a small amount of flexibility can make a tremendous difference in successfully harmonizing responsibilities at work and at home.

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