Flexible working has created a major shift to the way we work. Businesses are now facing increased demand from their employees for flexible working opportunities.
Flexible working arrangements may include:
- Term–time working (so you don’t work during school holidays).
- Home working.
- Change from full-time to part-time worker.
- Compressed hours (working normal hours in fewer days).
- Time off in lieu.
The introduction of agile workspaces and flexible working was due to demand from the new generation of digital savvy workers.
To be eligible, staff will need to have worked for 26 weeks minimum to make a statutory flexible working request.
Advantages for employer and employees
It offers advantages to employees and employers alike. For employees, it presents them with an opportunity to save money on the costs associated with commuting to work. It also offers a better work/life balance, less stress and greater job satisfaction. All of which mean positive changes to staff’s health and wellbeing. As if that wasn’t enough, flexible working also contributes to reducing carbon emission. As workers are traveling less, it'll lead to positive impacts on the environment in the long-run.
For employers, advantages include:
- Reduced turnover.
- Increased retention.
- Improved morale and engagement.
- Reduced sick days.
- Reduced staff lateness and absenteeism.
Being open to flexible working also enhances your company profile. It helps with your recruiting and retaining efforts as it establishes your brand as one that cares about the wellbeing of its employees.
The technology of flexible working
Flexible working is the ultimate sign as to how technology has fundamentally changes the way that we do business. For businesses to be more profitable and efficient, they’ll need to invest in the latest technology and software. You’ll need to update your current technology offerings. From audio and video conference calls to instant messaging platforms like slack to online sharing services like google docs. For start-ups and smaller businesses, it’s easier and cheaper to reduce overheads. By providing the tools and software for remote work, employees can operate with minimal supervision. Providing then with appropriate tech and software also means that you won’t be compromising on efficiency, quality of service or professional image. Investing in monitoring software like Hive Desk and Time Doctor allow employers to track the productivity and activity of their remote workers.
Whilst we’re moving in the right direction with regards to flexible working, there are also some limitations involved. According to Personnel Today, 84% of UK employers admit that their inability to quickly implement new technology services limits their ability to compete. So although employers are inclined to accept requests for flexible working from employees, figures show us that there are some barriers to it. Among the most common considerations are costs, security and compliance. 68% of employers surveyed cited the costs of transforming IT services as the reason for their hesitation in accepting flexible working requests.
At Greenwood Campbell, they offer lots of flexibility. Teams have the option to start anytime between 8-10am on Fridays and are able to work from home.