What is true Flexible Working, and How Does it Benefit Business Owners…
Understandably, flexible working isn’t something ALL businesses can offer. This blog is for companies who can/do offer flexible working.
Below you will read how flexible working benefits businesses, examples of flexible working, and what you can do to ensure you’re offering a true flexible working model.
Flexible working doesn’t only benefit the employee
Flexibility means different things to different people, and the word ‘flexibility’ is vague. This means its interpretation can differ greatly. Here is an example from the above-linked article:
“Offering flexibility to an employee with childcare commitments, but not to someone without, can create 2 classes of employees. Those who work ‘non-traditional’ schedules, and those who work ‘regular’ hours. The latter will rarely ask for flexibility but may well want more of it”.
Many employers offer flexible working, but they ‘restrict’, or ‘limit’, the flexibility offered. Or only offer it to employees who may have childcare, or other commitments.
When an employer trusts its employees to work flexibly, this can have a positive impact on the business.
Here are some examples of how offering flexible working could benefit you:
What you need to do
Move away from old narratives, and trust in your employees. Understand that to attract and retain top talent, you NEED to offer true flexible working.
Here are some of the things you could do:
- Ensure flexible working is available to ALL employees
- Allow employees to manage their own flexibility
- Remove disincentives
- Experiment with flexible working to see what works and what doesn’t
Examples of flexible working
Here are some examples of the most common types of flexible working you could incorporate into your business model:
- Compressed work weeks
- Remote/hybrid working
- Change to working hours (start earlier/finish earlier, start later/finish later)
- Less than full-time schedule (may affect pay)
Flexible working is something all businesses that can offer, should be prioritising. Reframing your mindset isn’t easy, especially if flexible working is new to you. However, the benefits of flexible working for both employer and employee are worth it. Try to remember these 3 points:
- Flexible working isn’t JUST working from home
- Flexible working is for EVERYONE, regardless of commitments
- Flexible working benefits the employer, just as much as the employee
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