Flexible working is more than just working from home. It's about working from wherever you need to be and during the times that suit your lifestyle. Work life balance is becoming increasingly important with many job seekers prioritising flexible working options over salary when it comes to looking for and accepting a new job. Flexible working can take many forms from part-time working to job shares to home working to compressed hours and flexitime.
Introducing a flexible working policy can benefit both the employer and the employee.
Flexible working benefits employees in a number of ways.
- Better work life balance allowing them to spend more time with their families or to undertake hobbies.
- Reduced childcare costs if employees are able to work around childcare.
- Avoiding rush hour traffic and peak hours on public transport therefore arriving feeling more refreshed and saving money by avoiding peak charges.
- Reduced fuel and motor maintenance costs for employees who are allowed to work at home for the majority or part of the week.
A huge benefit to flexible and new ways of working practices is the potential to save money in terms of office space. This is why many start-ups are adding flexible working to their benefits as it is one of the biggest overheads for small to medium sized businesses.
The overarching benefit for employers who introduce or have flexible and new ways of working practices is the ability to save money. Not sure how, then read on.
- Save on overheads - Have a look around you now and if there are many empty desks, then these could potentially be removed therefore allowing for a smaller office space.
- Higher staff retention rates - If staff, who might otherwise have left, are offered hours to suit then it reduces the likeliness that they will seek a job elsewhere meaning greater continuity of staff and reduced recruitment costs. It will also increase job satisfaction and better staff morale.
- Reduced levels of sickness absence - It's likely that at on occasion you have woken up in the morning and not felt like going into work. The options are to call in sick (not recommended) or drag yourself into work and have a potentially unproductive day. Consider introducing duvet days to your flexible working benefits allowing employees to use a day’s holiday at a moment’s notice. These are usually limited to 3 or 4 per year.
Introducing a flexible working policy
If you're considering a flexible working culture for your organisation, then be sure to involve your employees in the decision making process. Speak to your employees or conduct a simple survey. Get to know how your employees need to work and how they want to work. Ask them what they like about their current working situation and how it can be improved. It's important to remember that the transition to flexible working will be gradual and will only be successful if it is offered to all employees at every level and that they are kept updating throughout the process.
FGS Recruitment is a boutique recruitment agency specialising in recruiting sales and marketing jobs in our core markets of Digital Media, Learning & Development and Market Research. Keep up to date with our latest career advice articles and jobs by signing up to our newsletter and be sure to follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.