In nearly all sectors and in different business environments, flexible working arrangements are becoming increasingly popular. It is not just for the so called millennial generation, but it is a benefit that many from all age groups are looking for. With technology continuously developing and our culture adapting to the rise in flexible workers, how can you embrace this change and get the best out of it for your business and your employees?What do we mean by flexible working?
Flexible working covers working patterns which provide flexibility on when, where, and for how long work will be carried out. This includes part-time working, flexitime, working from home, zero hour contracts and, less commonly, job sharing or term-time working.Benefits of flexible working
There are multiple benefits, to both you as the employer, and your employees to allow flexible working, including:
How to manage flexible working
- Increased work/life balance – flexible working often gives employees the opportunity to spend time with the family or participate in a regular activity, which might take place in their normal working day. This can help contribute to a better work/life balance and ultimately more job satisfaction.
- Increased productivity – if employees are working condensed hours, working from home or working in a time period that suits them best, they are often found to be more efficient with their time.
- Reduced stress – a less stressed workforce will also benefit from a reduction in sickness absence.
- Recruitment – an effective marketing tool to attract a wider talent pool of candidates, some individuals may only consider flexible working arrangements, excluding them from applying to certain roles.
- Staff retention – employees who are happier in their workplace are less likely to look for another job, many organisations will not be able to match their current working patterns, disrupting their routine.
- Reduction in overhead costs – having less staff in the office on a daily basis frees up desk space and encourages hot desking, allowing organisations to hire more staff without extra additional costs.
Managers are often faced with a number of different challenges when individuals within their team have flexible working hours. It is important managers are fully trained to deal with such circumstances.
The process needs to be clear from the outset about how flexible hours work and what is expected from each party. To alleviate problems with managing workload and staff performance, one option is to schedule an agreed day or time where everyone has to be present in the workplace. Regular staff meetings will keep the team informed about ongoing projects and provide an overview of individual responsibilities. Providing staff with the right equipment to work effectively is paramount, however, if members of your team are working remotely, data protection and company security must be taken into consideration.
For further information on flexible working or other HR related queries please contact our HR Consultancy team on 01603 663300.