Types of Flexible Work Arrangements (FWA)

Choose the most suitable flexible work arrangements based on your organisation’s and employees' needs.

  • Time
  • Location
  • Workload


Compressed Work Schedule

Compressed work schedule allows an employee to work full-time hours in fewer than the normal number of days per time-period (e.g. 40 hours within a 4 day work-week).

This arrangement may not be suitable if your work requires set hours or involves daily deadlines. Compressed work schedules may not be feasible if all your employees need to be present at the job site at all times.

More on compressed work schedule


Creative Scheduling

Creative scheduling involves work schedules that are flexible and meets needs of specific employee teams. It may be implemented to accommodate existing employees’ personal and family needs, or to attract employees with needs that do not fit into traditional work schedules.

For example, industries may have a variety of shift patterns which appeal to different employee groups allowing companies to improve recruitment and retention.

Employees Choice of Days Off

Employees choice of days off allows employees to plan their work schedules and determine their day(s) off. Balloting may be used to ensure that daily operations run smoothly and fair allocation of day(s) off.

This option is particularly relevant for certain industries (e.g. retail, where employees are required to work on weekends and are able to choose their day off on weekdays).


Flexi-hours is an arrangement where employees are contracted to work a certain number of hours over an accounting period (e.g. 20-hour work week). Under this arrangement, employees can work at any time of the day, as long as they complete the stipulated hours within the work week.

Flexi-hours is more common in jobs where activities are not dependent on meeting colleagues or clients at specific times of the day.


Flexi-shift is an arrangement where employees specify the days or hours they can work, and are scheduled accordingly (e.g. caregivers of school-going children may opt for three to four hours in the afternoon while the children are at school, or during weekends when other caregivers are available).

This work arrangement may overlap with part-time work or job sharing (e.g. two or more cashiers share one full-time position throughout the work week).

Shift Swapping

Shift swapping allows shift-workers to trade shifts with one another when the need arises. This enables them to arrange their schedule to meet their personal needs and family responsibilities.

Staggered Time

Staggered time allows employees to vary their daily start and end times to suit their work and personal commitments. Typically, there is a core time during which employees must work (e.g. 10am to 4pm). Staggered time is useful in multinational organisations that deal with different time-zones.

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Time Bank

Time banking is an arrangement where an employer and employee agree on a fixed number of work hours to be completed over a specified time period (e.g., 24 hours a week). If an employee is required to work additional hours, these are accumulated in a ‘time bank’ and may be taken as time off in-lieu.

*Under normal business situations, employers cannot use this arrangement for employees who are covered under the Employment Act (EA) as these employees are entitled to be paid for overtime work or work done on their stipulated rest days.

Given the extraordinary times now, faced with the Covid-19 pandemic, the Tripartite Advisory on Managing Excess Manpower encourages companies to implement a Flexible Work Schedule (FWS) which allows employers to optimise the use of manpower resources when they go through cyclical troughs and peaks in manpower demands; and employees are assured of a stable monthly income during the period of FWS. Under FWS, employers can reduce weekly working hours without adjusting wages, by creating a ‘time bank’ of unused working hours. These banked hours can then be used to offset the increase in working hours in subsequent periods. 

Employers who wish to implement FWS should refer to the Tripartite Advisory on Managing Excess Manpower for guidance as well as seek the support of the unions and employees and thereafter apply to the Commissioner for Labour. More details on the qualifying conditions can be found on the MOM website.




Telecommuting is a flexi-place arrangement where the job is performed at a location other than the workplace. It uses information and communication technologies to connect teams virtually and enable employees to respond to clients remotely. Telecommuting may be conducted on a situational or regular basis.

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Interim Work

Interim work is the hiring of an employee on a part-time or full-time basis for a specific period of time or project. Interim employees cut across all levels, from senior management to rank-and-file employees. Seasonal work and project-based work are examples of interim work.

Job Sharing

Job sharing allows two or more part-time employees to share the responsibilities of one full-time employee. Responsibilities may be divided by function, geography, time, or workload.

Job sharing employees will usually work at different times during the day or week, or on alternate weeks. This arrangement may involve a time of overlap to maintain continuity.

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Part-Time Work

Part-time work is an arrangement in which employees work reduced hours on a regular basis. Part-time employees normally work less than 35 hours in a week, including those who work less than a full day all week or only some days per week.

More on part-time work


Phasing In or Out

Phasing in is an arrangement where employees joining an organisation can move from a part-time position to a full-time position. It includes employees returning to work after an extended period of leave (e.g. part-time employees on maternity leave converting back into a full-time position). Phasing out is an arrangement where employees leaving an organisation can move from a full-time position to a part-time position (e.g. phased retirement).

To ease this transition, employees are sometimes given the flexibility to determine how many hours they would like to work, and when they would like to work.

Phased Retirement

Phased retirement is designed for retiring employees who wish to continue working, but in a different capacity. Phased retirement schemes such as part-time work allow employees to remain in the workforce through a reduced and more flexible work schedule. Organisations can also redesign roles and job scopes for older workers.

This provides a win-win situation for both parties as employees can continue contributing to the organisation while the organisation retains the talents and expertise of its employees.


Project-Based Work

Project-based work is an arrangement in which someone is engaged to complete a specific project. The contract may be based on tasks, key performance indicators or duration.

Retirees Cover for Workers on Leave

An arrangement in which organisations engage their retired employees to return to work on an ad hoc or short-term basis when they require manpower. Such organisations usually provide continuous training opportunities and keep in contact with retirees after they leave the organisation.

Seasonal Work

Seasonal work is the hiring of employees during peak seasons to boost existing staff strength. It involves the hiring of part-time employees to work over a certain period of time to cover the work of existing employees (e.g. hiring more retail employees during festive seasons, or hiring employees to work on weekends to relieve existing employees).

Weekend Work

Weekend work is an arrangement that optimises part-timers who may only be available on weekends (e.g. homemakers or students). It is helpful for industries that have difficulty finding employees to work on weekends.