10 min czytania 11 October 2023

Flexible forms of employment – what are the advantages and disadvantages?

Flexible forms of employment were created to adapt to the changing needs of the labor market and the requirements of employees and employers. Their goal is to create a flexible working environment that allows for a better balance between professional and personal life, and also favors the employee’s adaptation to various life situations. What types of flexible employment are there? What do employers value in flexible forms of employment? What are the advantages and disadvantages of flexible employment?

flexible forms of employment


Flexible labor market

Flexibility related to the labor market is the ability to adapt to new conditions and adaptation to new technological solutions. Flexibility will mean different things depending on the type of group. For employers, this will mean adapting areas of activity to the intensity of production or customer demand. For employees, it will be adapting to new solutions, e.g. time and place of work, new skills and qualifications. What types of flexibility are there?

  • employment flexibility – it is the company’s ability to adapt the employment structure of employees to changing demand and fluctuations in production or provision of services resulting from market conditions.
  • functional flexibility – is related to the ability of employees to perform various tasks and fulfill various roles within the enterprise. This is possible when employees have comprehensive or multi-profile qualifications and are ready to perform tasks in various positions.
  • financial flexibility – refers to the variability of remuneration, which depends on many factors, such as the execution of orders, the company’s remuneration policy, the market situation, etc.
  • working time flexibility – the use of various forms of working time organization, depending on the market demand for specific services.
  • spatial flexibility – involves the ability to perform work freely, e.g. remote work.

What does employment flexibility involve?

Flexible forms of employment may apply to many conditions related to work. Employment flexibility concerns areas such as:

  • flexible working time,
  • place of work,
  • legal form of employment,
  • remuneration,
  • organization of work,
  • working tools.

Read also: Working time – how much is it in 2023?

flexible forms of employment

What are the flexible forms of employment?

Flexible forms of employment include all forms that are not a classic full-time fixed-term employment contract. What types of flexible forms of employment can be mentioned depending on the type of contract:

Mandatory contract

It is a civil law contract, the provisions of which are regulated by the Civil Code. It is often a form of employment for young people, students or people who work on the side. The contractor undertakes to perform the order entrusted to him by the client. It belongs to flexible employment because there are no restrictions on working time. There is no rigid number of days off as in the case of an employment contract. However, it is often concluded for a specific number of hours to be worked. Despite many advantages, the mandate contract also has disadvantages, including: no right to holidays, no sick leave, work is not included in the length of service, etc.

Contract work

It is also a civil law contract regulated by the Civil Code. It is defined as a contract under which one party (the contractor) undertakes to perform a specific intellectual or physical work, and the other party (the client) undertakes to pay remuneration for the work performed. In the case of this type of contract, what is important is the result of performing the work, and not, as in the case of a commission contract, its process. Often, these are some material activities, such as renovating an apartment, making custom-made furniture, or intangible activities, such as promoting a company, designing a house, etc. A contract for specific work is beneficial to both parties because there is no need to pay ZUS contributions, except for a situation in which you work for your own employer. This is a form of flexible employment of employees because it gives complete freedom in performing tasks, because what counts is the end result, not the action itself.

All these contracts are contracts regulated by the Labor Code. They have been classified as flexible forms of employment because they are characterized by a lack of permanent employment and can be terminated at any time without giving a specific reason.

Employment contract for a trial period

An employment contract for a trial period may be concluded for a maximum of 3 months. If the contract is not continued after this time, it is automatically terminated. The employee may be employed again under this contract, but it must be in a different position and if at least 3 years have passed since the termination of the previous contract.

Contract of employment on specified time

A fixed-term contract is a contract that is classified as a flexible form of employment because it ends on the date on which it was concluded. It can be concluded for a maximum of 33 months and there can be only three of them, after which it must be concluded for a fixed period.

Replacement contract

This is a type of contract that is intended to ensure the employer’s continuity of work in a given position. Replacement people are often hired because the previous employee goes on maternity leave or has a prolonged illness. This contract terminates when the employee returns to a given position. This type of contract can be concluded for any period of time because there are no restrictions as in the case of a fixed-term employment contract.

Part-time employment

It is most often concluded on a 1/2 or 3/4-time basis. The employer must agree with the employee the working hours and on what days and hours he will have to work. The employee has the same rights as other employees. The amount of leave days depends on the length of service and is calculated in proportion to the number of hours.

Remote work (formerly telework)

Remote work is classified as a flexible form of employment because it gives the opportunity to work outside the company’s headquarters. It can take place at home or anywhere in the world. This type of work is often used by people working in professions such as: graphic designer, programmer, copywriter, marketer, recruiter, freelancer, influencer, etc. Not every profession can be performed in this form. It mainly depends on the use of electronic communication devices: the Internet, telephone, etc. The working time under a given contract depends on the duration of the contract.

Home work

This is also called homework, in which the employee performs various types of physical activities, such as packing, sorting, folding, making e.g. Christmas tree decorations or assembling pens, etc. Homework can occur in various industries and economic sectors, from warehouses and the manufacturing industry to construction. and agriculture. It combines elements of an employment contract and a contract for specific work. Its characteristic feature is the ability to work from home or elsewhere, rather than at the employer’s premises. The contractor himself decides on the time and place of work, and has a certain number of products to produce. It can be concluded for a trial, specified or indefinite period and there is a notice period. The rules regarding remuneration in the case of an outsourcing contract are unusual. The remuneration should not be lower than 50% of the minimum wage, and in the case of a person for whom it is the only source of income, it must be at least the minimum wage. With this type of contract, you also have the right to holiday leave, sick pay and maternity leave.

The use of flexible forms most often appears in industries with high employee turnover. They are used where it is necessary to adapt the number of employees to the current needs of the workplace, often resulting from weather conditions or the general needs of the plant.

Read also: How does an employment agency work?

flexible forms of employment

Flexible forms of employment – what are the benefits?

The introduction of flexible employment can bring many benefits for both employers and employees. Of course, not every industry will be able to use flexible forms, but choosing such an employment model is becoming more and more popular. What are the advantages of flexible forms of employment? What are the benefits of implementing flexible forms of employment?

Advantages of flexible forms of employment for employers

Human resources optimization – flexible forms of employment allow employers to adjust the number of employees to the changing needs of the company, which allows for more effective human resources management.

Cost reduction – employers can reduce employment costs, such as fixed salaries and social benefits, by using flexible working arrangements.

Increased efficiency – flexibility allows companies to better respond to market changes and quickly adapt to new conditions.

Greater diversity within your team – Flexible contracts can help create a more diverse and varied team, which can drive innovation and creativity.

Increased employee retention – Employers that offer flexible working arrangements often enjoy greater employee loyalty because they feel more satisfied with their jobs and have more control over their careers.

Easy creation of new jobs – flexible forms make it easier for employers to create new jobs in a short time, which can be especially useful in the case of rapid company growth or seasonal employment needs.

Possibility of flexible cooperation with specialists – Employers can flexibly cooperate with various specialists, which allows access to different skills and knowledge as needed, without the need to maintain a permanent specialist team.

Possibility to test employees – flexible forms of employment allow employers to test employees for a shorter period before possible permanent employment.

Lower recruitment costs – flexible contracts can help reduce the costs associated with the traditional recruitment process. No need to permanently employ full-time employees means there is less need to advertise job positions, conduct lengthy selection processes and conduct costly initial training.

Advantages of flexible forms of employment for the employee

Possibility to combine professional work with family life, additional work or education – a flexible employment model allows you to adjust working hours to the individual needs and priorities of employees.

Greater freedom and control – employees can often choose when and where to work, allowing them to better manage their time and use their working hours more efficiently. Flexible working time is very sought after and popular in today’s world.

Less stress and better well-being – flexibility can help reduce the stress associated with the daily commute and enable employees to work in a more comfortable environment, which translates into their overall well-being.

Possibility to gain professional experience – flexible forms of employment relationship provide the opportunity to gain first experience in a given industry. Thanks to them, employees can check whether the direction they are going in is good for them.

Opportunity to test your skills in a given industry – it often happens that employees plan to change the industry and change industries. Flexible forms of employment relationships give people the opportunity to test their skills in other sectors in which they want to try their hand at.

Flexible forms of employment – what are the disadvantages?

Flexible employment is a popular work model that is gaining importance in today’s business world. It allows employees to adjust their work schedules to their individual needs, which can bring many benefits. However, this is not a perfect solution, and there are some disadvantages to flexible working. What are the disadvantages of flexible working?

Disadvantages of flexible forms of employment for employers:

Lack of a permanent team of employees – flexible forms of employment may lead to the lack of a permanent team of employees, which makes it difficult to build a coherent organizational culture and long-term relationships with employees.

Training and recruitment costs – employers must bear the costs of recruiting and training new employees, which can be time-consuming and expensive, especially in the case of frequent employee turnover.

Reduced employee loyalty – employees on flexible contracts may be less loyal to the company, increasing the risk of losing valuable employees.

Weaker bond between employees and managers – in the case of flexible forms of employment, there may be a weak bond between employers and employees, because employees often do not identify with the company and its long-term goals.

Disadvantages of flexible forms of employment for employees:

Lack of financial stability – workers with flexible contracts often experience financial instability due to irregular income and lack of employment benefits.

Lack of social protection – flexible working arrangements often do not offer protections such as unemployment benefits or paid leave, which can leave workers at greater risk of losing their income if they lose their job.

Lack of access to training and professional development – employees on flexible contracts often do not have access to training or professional development programs offered by employers, which may limit their development opportunities.

Increased stress and uncertainty – job instability and irregular working hours can lead to increased stress and uncertainty among employees.

Lower remuneration In case of small-time employment, you usually receive less remuneration.

Limitations in development – with unstable jobs, it may be difficult to choose a career and development path. It is more difficult to apply for a bonus or promotion.

Difficulties maintaining work-life balance – flexible forms of employment, especially remote work, can make it difficult to maintain work-life balance.

Explore different forms of employment because it allows you to better tailor your choices to your individual needs and career goals. Flexibility of time and place of work often allows us to save time because we can better plan our entire day. The ability to adapt work to one’s own lifestyle is very desirable nowadays, and flexible forms of employment allow for this.

Check also: Mandate contract and pension – is it included in the length of service?