Tips for Employers: How to Navigate Flexible Working

Thanks to the impact of Covid-19 and the lockdown measures across the country, more people than ever are working from home. For many businesses and employees, this has been a new way of operating and it’s likely to have a lasting impact on how we want to work.

While working from home isn’t for everyone, flexible working is something that employers are going to need to consider. According to Totaljobs research, 84% of UK workers would like flexible working and 28% would change jobs for one that offered remote working.

What is flexible working?

Flexible working is a working pattern that differs from the traditional 9-5 office-based schedule. This could include:

  • Staggered hours. This is where employees may wish to start earlier or finish later i.e. 8am-4pm or 10am – 6pm.
  • Compressed hours. This involves employees working longer hours on set days so that they can work fewer days overall.
  • Working from home or remotely. Employees wouldn’t have to work from the office for a number of days of the week.

What are the benefits of flexible working for businesses?

There are a whole host of benefits to flexible working including:

  • Better morale. When employees have more control over their work schedule, they will feel happier, motivated and more engaged at work.
  • Increased productivity. We know that long hours and high stress has a negative impact on productivity. It can also lead to more absences and sick leave. With more flexibility, your employees have a better opportunity to find a good work/life balance and to reduce work-related stress.
  • Reduced turnover of staff. By offering your team more flexibility and trust in choosing where and when they work, they will be more loyal to your business.
  • Great company image. Offering flexible working is also going to be attractive to potential candidates. As more people want flexibility, high-calibre talent will go to the businesses that offer it.

What are the challenges of flexible working for businesses?

Flexible working, and particularly allowing employees to work from home, can pose some challenges for businesses. Some will thrive when given more independence, whereas some need more structure and are more productive with supervision.

It’s also important to be aware that when some teams are given flexible working but not others, there could be some discontent. Naturally, some roles require a job to be done during office hours and from the office, whereas others are easy to be flexible with.

The most important thing is that you are consistent and fair when considering your employees’ requests for flexible working.

Bringing it all together

Having more flexibility and access to remote working is now more widespread than ever before and it’s set to continue. For companies who want happy, motivated and productive employees and who want to attract the best candidates, it’s time to look at putting in place a flexible working policy.

If you do need help recruiting for your business, find out more about the recruitment services we offer and get in touch today.

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