Advantages of Flexible Working
As the Coronavirus measures take place, many people will be contemplating working from home for the first time. Welcome to the club, which has grown a lot, especially since the flexible working regulations introduced in 2014 made it legal for people to request flexible working policies from their employers.
However, most people don’t actually understand the benefits and advantages of a flexible working policy. Employers can think it’s a hassle and employees might find it daunting to work from home. With the right approach, flexible working policies can be a brilliant way to boost your productivity, help motivate your employees and also allow them to handle their outside commitments more easily.
Flexible Working for Employees
Flexible working for employees means that they’ll have more freedom when it comes to picking their work hours and when they decide to work. If working at night is more suitable for their lifestyle, then flexible working arrangements will allow for this. It also means that your staff likely won’t be in the office for many hours, meaning they’ll largely be working from home or out in the field depending on their job role.
Most people enjoy working a flexible work schedule because it allows them to have more control over their work-life balance. However, they might also feel isolated because of their flexible working arrangement and thus feel demotivated when they work. They could also feel a little lost when they are stuck on a problem and don’t have anyone to guide them. However, these are only very small concerns when it comes to the bigger picture and what flexible working could do for your employees. Take a look at our popular tips to help you tackle the challenges. LINK to www.flexible-working.org/are-you-an-employee/a-practical-toolkit/tips-for-staff-working-at-home/.
Flexible working comes with a number of fantastic advantages for employees such as:
- Managing commitments without sacrificing work time. Whether it’s a family member that needs help at home or a child that needs picking up from school, your staff likely have many small commitments outside of the workplace that may take precedence over their work. With flexible working, they no longer need to decide between the two. Instead, they’ll have the flexibility to deal with other commitments then pick up their work where they left off.
- Save money on commuting to work. Some employees find that it’s challenging to go to their workplace simply because it’s too far. This usually results in high travel costs and could make it difficult for the employee to get to work due to transport outages. With the help of a flexible working policy, those employees could become long-distance office workers, operating remotely from a laptop or mobile device with an internet connection. This can save them a lot of money on transport or petrol costs and also make your business more efficient.
- More control over their personal work environment. Another huge positive of flexible working arrangements is the control over your personal work environment. People can find it hard to work in an office environment because it’s noisy or has too many distractions, but this can be solved with a flexible working arrangement that allows the employee to pick where they want to work. This could mean designing their own study and having all of their materials close by, or it could just mean avoiding the noise of their office space so that they can work in peace.
There are plenty of great advantages of flexible working for employees, but this only half the story.
Flexible Working for Employers
Employees aren’t the only ones that can benefit from a flexible working policy in the workplace. Employers will also see plenty of advantages that can help optimise their business and boost employee morale.
- Motivate your staff. The morale of your staff is an important factor in their overall productivity. If they’re not motivated to work then they’re going to produce sub-par results, they might be late for deadlines and they’ll be slow to do anything. To avoid this, it’s important to motivate your staff and flexible working arrangements could be the key to unlocking their full potential.
- Attracting prospective recruits. Being able to work from home can be a deal-breaker for many job hunters as it gives them lots of flexibility to handle their own commitments when needed. It also helps to lower their overall travel costs, making flexible working opportunities a very attractive quality.
- Save on office expenses. You should also consider the advantages that flexible working brings to your finances. Since you don’t need to spend as much money on your employees in the office, you can save money. In some cases, you could afford to scale down your office and rent a smaller location if you only expect to see a few staff members come in throughout the week. You could even take this further and not own an office at all, relying completely on cloud-based services to run your business’s tech.
- Retain your staff. Staff retention is always a massive concern when it comes to growing your business. You want to keep hold of your long-term staff because they know how your company works and are generally quite efficient at their jobs, but if you don’t offer them more freedom and control over their work-life balance, they’re going to look for a different job if their circumstances change.
- Become a mobile business. This is more attractive to some businesses than it is to others. For instance, if your business provides consulting then you may require your employees to visit clients on-site at their respective locations. This means your staff won’t even be in the office much and should have some way to get work done on-the-go. Becoming a flexible workplace means that you’re more agile, giving you the opportunity to stay productive at all times.
Of course, there are a couple of important responsibilities to consider before you decide to adopt a flexible working policy. If you’re unsure how you’ll equip your staff or aren’t in a financial situation that can afford the software and hardware needed to establish remote working opportunities, then it’s probably not a good idea to invest in it yet. However, for most businesses that are looking for a practical way to boost their staff productivity, establishing flexible working arrangements could be the number one choice.