More and more companies are moving away from the standard 9-5 in an office cubicle, but there are some who are still hesitant. It could be that they have misconceptions about productivity when employees work from home, or they’re not sure just how flexible they should be, but we’re here to set the record straight and talk about the business benefits of flexible working.
What exactly is it?
A lot of people think that flexible working just encompasses starting or finishing the work day at a different time or working from home occasionally, but there are many more flexible work options. These include:
- Working part-time or only during term times while remaining a permanent staff member.
- Working remotely from somewhere other than home.
- Compressing hours to work 4 longer days one week and a half day on the other day.
- Flexible annual hours where length of working days/weeks can change as long as fixed working hours each year are met.
- Shift-swapping with colleagues.
How important is it?
We’ve talked before about how flexible working is a job must for many Millennials, but when it comes to other workers, how important is it? According to a global report in 2016 in which almost 200,000 workers from 24 countries were asked what was most important when choosing a job, 29% said flexible working was in their top 5 factors to consider.
A CIPD survey from 2014 also showed that if those asked could change an aspect of their job, 31% would change the start or finish time of the day and 24% would change the number of days they worked by working more hours on fewer days.
How does it benefit employees?
When it comes to the benefits of flexible working, studies conducted by the Association of Accounting Technicians revealed that 38% of those involved reported feeling happier when they had access to flexible working arrangements, and 35% said they felt less stressed.
How does it benefit you?
While it’s obviously great to know that your employees are reaping the benefits of flexible working, there are those still concerned about productivity levels dropping as a result, however they shouldn’t worry. Results from the same study showed that flexible workers felt that they actually worked more effectively under flexible conditions, and a quarter worked an average of 6.7 hours extra per week when compared to what they’d achieve during normal office hours at a desk. With benefits for both employees and employees alike and a definite benefit to business, introducing flexible working is the future, but how can you get on board?
How can you introduce it?
The easiest way to introduce flexible working into your business after you’ve discussed it with any more senior staff, is to get the opinions of your employees and see which options they would prefer most. There may be an overwhelming desire for slightly longer days and a half-day on Friday, or the ability to work from home on a designated day of the week. Trial it for a month then hold a review to see if it’s working well and make sure that everyone is still happy with it.
Ready to find the right job for you with flexible options? Give us a call and see how we can help!