Benefits of Flexible working

Flexible working is a pretty hot topic at the moment and a popular trend amongst today’s workforce. At the same, it also offers many perks to your business. It can support employee’s needs, help you to be competitive when recruiting and even promote your brilliant employer brand. Most of all, its adaptable depending on your circumstances.

With flexible working, there are so many options. Whether that’s part-time hours, flexi-time work, or working from home. This means it has great potential to work for your business. Above all, work shouldn’t overtake employees’ personal lives or family time. So, flexible working is great for helping staff to achieve a positive work-life balance. Below we discuss some of the top pros and cons to help you decide what works best for your business.

A better work-life balance

58% of UK workers believe the traditional 9am-5pm is becoming outdated. The rush hour traffic, difficulty organising childcare and problems with maintaining a healthy lifestyle, means that a one-size fits all approach is no longer fit for purpose. What’s more, two thirds (67.6%) of employees admitted that they would prefer to work hours that suited their needs.

Flexible working makes this possible and your employees can make the best use of their time. Whether this means starting earlier to finish earlier, or vice versa, it’s definitely worth a shot. Other work arrangements such as part-time hours mean your employees can take the time out they need for their personal lives. Try not to immediately shut down any requests – instead, approach them with an open mind.

While you have to consider what works best for your company, it is possible to provide the best of both worlds. Therefore, always keep your employees in mind too. And remember, employee happiness has an effect on your company culture. If your workers are unhappy it’s in your best interests to address the situation. Flexible working can reduce staff stress levels, with employees having more time to pursue hobbies or get some well-needed sleep. For you, this means more motivated, happy employees – it’s a win-win situation.

Improving recruitment and retention

Showing you care for your employees increases their loyalty to you and your company. At the end of the day, if you look after employee happiness they shouldn’t have any reasons to leave. Especially if you one up competitors who don’t offer flexible working. After all, the majority (86.5%) of employees believe that all businesses should offer flexible working. Use it as a perk to increase your value as a positive employer brand and to attract new recruits. They’ll certainly value your committed attitude to employees.

For instance, you might have a valued member of staff who is considering leaving to cover childcare costs, or look after an elderly relative. But, by offering flexi-time, or the opportunity to work from home,  you can keep your valued employee whilst also meeting their needs. It’s going to be cost effective too rather than you having to train up another member of staff.

The downsides (and how you can tackle them!)

There’s clearly some great pros to offering flexible working; from increased staff retention and being competitive in the job market, to ensuring your staff are happy and productive. But, there are also a few small downsides you need to tackle. First of all, you might find it harder to monitor your workers, especially if they’re working from home. While it’s important to trust staff, you also need to ensure your company is equally as productive as possible. So it’s crucial that flexible working doesn’t compromise your ability to run your company.

In these cases, it might be a wise choice to give staff a trial period where they have to prove their trustworthiness before you formally allow them to work this way. After all, trust is built on time and as an employer, you need to be comfortable that your staff are not taking advantage of your good will. You can also monitor their workload, ensuring that staff are still managing to complete their tasks on time and to the best of their abilities.

Furthermore, it might be impractical for everyone to work flexibly. For example, if people need to be present for meetings. After all, it’s hard to run a business where no-one is available for face-to-face discussions. So, the requests need to be completely reasonable and fair. It’s your job to make this clear to employees. If you communicate well with them, they should understand your position.

At the end of the day, employees will always have different preferences of what works best for them. For example, we found that 64.2% of workers felt they were most productive during the mornings. Giving employees a choice can be best for them, as well as being beneficial to your business.

Weighing it up

Ultimately, as an employer you need to weigh up what’s going to be a happy medium for your employees and your company. While staff priorities are essential, it’s also important that you don’t compromise your business either. Overall, while working from home may not work in your business, part-time work or flexi hours may do. So, it’s great to be open to trying new ideas! The result of putting your staff first is going to be great on your business – remember, happy workers are productive workers!

Article courtesy of CV Library