Six reasons to introduce flexible working

The perks of flexible working for employees are well-known, but many employers still seem to be in the dark about the benefits it can offer their organisation. 

Here is an overview of the main advantages flexible working for employers.

1  It can attract a wider pool of candidates

Offering flexible working arrangements can be a huge draw for applicants. It can give applicants the impression that you are a progressive and forward-thinking organisation and you are willing to listen and accommodate employees’ needs and commitments.

Attracting a wide pool of candidates can also lead to having a more skilled and diverse workforce.

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2  It can also help retain talent

It is modern reality that employees are constantly juggling different priorities – many individuals need to care for their children, look after dependents or study while working. Providing flexible working may be able to help you retain your skilled staff who were thinking of leaving because they couldn’t do the standard hours, start at the time expected or deal with the lengthy commute.

3  It can help reduce costs

If you are running short of office space, it may be appropriate to get some people working from home, either on a full-time or part-time basis, to avoid having to fork out more money on bigger office space.

Technology means that employees can log in remotely to participate in meetings, deliver presentations, work on projects or hand in work. Often, all that is required for employees to work is the use of the internet, a phone and a computer, so having people working from home does not need to be a massive expense. It can also save you some energy costs.

4  It can help you extend your working hours to best suit your business needs

We live in a world where consumers want and expect products and services quickly. To remain competitive, you may wish to open longer hours and at atypical times. This may be achieved as a result of an employee’s availability to work outside the traditional 9 to 5 hours.

This can also lead to a positive knock-on effect on customer retention.

5  It can reduce absenteeism and sickness

When employees cannot balance their professional and home commitments, this can lead to stress and absences. Allowing the employees to have a better work-life balance can help improve their health and well-being.

6  It can actually increase productivity

Often, people have a misconception that because an employee is working from home or working part-time, they are less committed to their job. Studies have shown that it can actually boost productivity, improve morale, enhance engagement and increase motivation levels. Allowing someone some flexibility is a show of trust on your behalf, which can lead to an increased sense of loyalty and a desire to go that extra mile.

All of these are good news for employers because they can help towards providing a better service to customers or service users.

So why are employers still reluctant about flexible working?

Of course, there are always some drawbacks. Employers may worry about having to deal with multiple requests and then managing the situation of accepting some and refusing others and the fallout this can create. There may also be concerns about how to manage employees on different arrangements and ensuring that there is sufficient cover at all times.

Small businesses may, in particular, be reluctant to embrace flexible working because they are unsure of what arrangements they could consider, how they should deal with statutory requests and when they can say ‘no’.

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