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Customized employment is an approach to the process of organizing the workplace in a manner that seeks to personalize the responsibilities and work schedule of an employee in a manner that is advantageous for both the employee and the employer. This process often involves moving beyond a standardized approach to scheduling and attempts to match the unique skills and talents of the employee with the needs of the employer. Workplace flexibility of this type can allow an employer to attract capable and talented employees who for one reason or another cannot commit to a traditional employment situation.
One example of customized employment involves the creation of flexible schedules that make it possible to benefit from the presence and productivity of employees, even if they cannot commit to a full work week or a rigid schedule. This sometimes involves using an approach that is known as job sharing. Here, two or more employees occupy the same position, and are assigned to work a flexible schedule each week that ultimately provides the employer with a full week or work, but allows the employees to commit to working only a portion of that week. This scheduling can be flexible, in that each employee may work different days and amounts of hours each week. For the employer, this means that the work assigned to that position is always covered by one of the employees, and there is not a need to redistribute tasks to other employees in the event of sickness or vacations.
Another approach to customized employment focuses more on tasks than filling the general responsibilities assigned to a specific job position. Here, the idea is to match the expertise, background, and experience of the employee with activities and projects that need attention. Doing so allows the employer to maximize the returns on the investment in those flexible employees, while also providing the employees involved a chance to focus on tasks that challenge and inspire them. Both parties benefit from the positive working situation that comes with higher morale and better utilization of resources.
Other strategies may also be included in a customized employment approach. An eclectic combination of on-site employees and employees who telecommute for work is sometimes a viable means of personalizing employment positions. Along with job sharing, job rotation — a strategy that allows employees to work in different areas within the company on some type of regular basis — may also yield positive results. There is no one ideal way to structure a customized employment environment. By thinking creatively, assessing what employees have to offer, and comparing those attributes with the tasks that must be accomplished in order to keep the business operating at a profit, employers can determine when and if this approach would in fact be in the best interests of the company.