The benefits of flexible working for businesses
It’s no secret that flexible working has proven to be extremely beneficial for employees, with the reduction of commuting time, financial cost and carbon. So what about the employers?
Flexible working has the capacity to bring huge benefits to both parties and it cannot be disputed that this type of working is on the rise.
So, shouldn’t more companies be getting on board with flexible working?
Many companies currently struggle to see the benefits that enabling flexible working for their employees can bring them, and what their lawful obligations are when making adjustments to their working time.
According to UK law, the right to request flexible working arrangements extends to all employees, not just to those who are parents or carers.
So, how do we define flexible working?
Well, it is considered any working pattern that is not the ‘norm’ for business; aka; the standard 9-5. This definition is broad enough to include requests to start or finish earlier/later, or to do some (or all) work from home.
There are a few requirements for everyone to meet when requesting flexible working arrangements.
The employee must have been working for the company for a minimum of 26 weeks and not made a prior flexible working request in the last 12 months. Also, by this law, employers must reasonably consider each flexible working request based on its own merits.
While as an employer, you must consider each flexible working request based on its own facts, the employee must also only make requests that are reasonable. The employer should only deny the request if there is a valid business reason. For example, if it means you cannot meet your customer demands or it would have a direct, adverse effect on output or productivity.
Alright, so that being said, what are these benefits to the employer?
Employees can be more productive
According to The State of Flexible Work Arrangements, a study done by Workest, 78% of employees said that flexible working arrangements made them more productive.
That’s a significant benefit for the businesses who choose to allow their employees to work on shift patterns around their other life commitments.
Employees who work from home feel a greater desire to plan their day, order their thoughts and actions, and of course, working this way means cutting out their commute. This means they may start work earlier and finish later than if they had travelled to and from the office each day, removing the need to rush out the office at the end of the day, in order to join the flood of traffic to get home.
It attracts and retains the right talent
According to the Undercover Recruiter, having flexible working hours was among the top 3 things most desired by the millennial workforce. Employers who offer such flexible working arrangements find themselves ranking as the most desired of this generation.
Making the choice to be flexible with working patterns, start and finishing times and allowing the option to work from home, gives employers access to a whole new workforce.
With the generation of tech-savvy employees at your fingertips, making those flexible working decisions feels like a strong, positive move for organisations.
Driven employees are more creative
If you give employees the freedom to work around their life commitments, you will find that they are typically more innovative and creative.
Giving them the space to think and create, rather than be burdened by the stresses of fitting their life around their work, opens up a new filter of freedom, which in turn will bring new ideas and energy into your business.
So there you have it. 3 key benefits for adopting flexible working arrangements into your business.
Afterall, when both employers and employees are able to work together and find a harmonious balance between worlds, everyone's a winner.