Why offering flexible working makes sense for employers and employees alike
When I joined the team here at Corriculo I opted to work both part-time and with some home working; I am writing the blog from my home right now. For me it made sense; saving on childcare costs, petrol costs and spending more time with my kids. Wednesday mornings at home are also my most productive when I can really focus on the marketing side of my role followed by spending time with the family in the afternoon.
You may already offer some form of flexible working or it may be a new concept to your business. All employees who have been working for 26 weeks are now entitled to request flexible working and that can take a variety of forms; altered hours, home-working, flexi-time and so on. The idea of changing your or your employee’s working patterns may seem scary at first but it has great benefits;
- Achieving a work-life balance for employees
- Increased motivation, engagement and loyalty from employees
- Reduced costs for both the employee (such as travel or childcare)and the employer (such as reduced staff costs, reduced employers NI and lower utility costs)
- Increased employee retention and attraction
- Increased productivity from the employee
- Ability for employees to pursue other avenues such as training or running their own business
- Allows the company to maximise the skills of current employees
- There is a whole sector of people, mainly women, who would love to get back into employment but traditional working practices don’t allow them to. This is a huge and largely untapped resource of quality talent you could be missing out on
The value of a work-life balance cannot be underestimated, no matter what the working practices are. Numerous studies have shown that it is not just remuneration that employees consider when job hunting. The fact that your company offers flexible working may end up being one of your biggest selling points as it can offer a wide range of employees the flexibility they cannot get from a “typical” 9-5 job. It is not just working parents that would see that as a benefit. Technology now means that working from home does not mean someone is cut off from the rest of the team. Field sales people have been making it work successfully for years.
Almost every employee has times that are not making the most out of their skills. Flexible working might mean you can allow one employee to focus on their strengths and hire someone else that can focus on others so you get two specialists for the price of one. You are also more likely to get the most out of the hours that a part-time employee is in the office. If they know they have less time to get things done, they are less likely to allow themselves to be distracted.
It won’t work for everyone and every role but if you’ve received a flexible working request or when making your next hire, think about how you can make the most of the opportunity for your business and your team alike.
Victoria Watkins is Office Manager here at Corriculo Ltd. After working as a Recruitment Consultant for 5 years she moved to Office Management for an IT consultancy 6 years ago. Victoria was one of the first members of our team and deals with all of our administration and accounts. Connect with her on LinkedIn, Twitter or Google+