In this COVID day and age, flexible working is the new ‘in thing’, but it actually might be beneficial to your business, and we’re going to tell you exactly six reasons as to why you should allow it.
If you are an employer, you need to know that UK law makes it mandatory for all types of employees (not necessarily just parents and carers) to request flexible working. As an employer, you can refuse such requests for legitimate reasons, but you must have made the decision and handled the request in a reasonable manner.
If you did not, employees are eligible to take further matters, such as taking you to an employment tribunal. A solicitor in London can assist in any employment cases should this happen. However, the best thing to do is assess your company model, and perhaps make allowances for this type of work.
To give you an idea as to why you should be saying yes to those flexible working requests or consider making flexible working available to all your employees, we’re going to talk about the six reasons why allowing for flexible working will benefit your business. Let’s take a closer look at these benefits to help you get a better understanding…
What is flexible working?
Flexible working is a way of working that suits the employee and their needs. It could be to do with their working pattern, allowing them to have flexible start and finish times, or choose their location of work, such as working from home, hot-desking or working in the office.
Many working professionals have children, which means they will sometimes require moving their working hours or taking time off to look after children or pick them up from nursery or school. A 9 to 5 job often prevents this, which isn’t ideal when many schools finish at 3:00 pm. Flexible working, fortunately, makes this possible, but currently, one in two women are being denied flexible working, so we’re here to change employers minds.
As we briefly mentioned above, all employees have the right to ask for flexible working if:
- They’ve worked for that employer for at least 26 weeks.
- They’re legally classed as an employee.
- There are no previous flexible requests made by the employee in the last 12 months.
The GOV.UK website can provide further information regarding flexible working requests for both employees and employers, should you need any additional assistance.
Why should you consider flexible working in your company?
1. Attract a wider audience
With businesses offering employees flexible hours, it means that more people will be tempted to apply to roles they potentially wouldn’t apply for if flexible working wasn’t an option. It might mean that a highly skilled and experienced person (perfect for the job) will apply for the role and bring talent and added value to your team of employees. This could also bring more profit to the business – a win, win, really.
2. Happier workforce
Providing employees with more freedom offers the business the possibility of employees being far happier in their roles, meaning that overall morale will be better.
Employees will feel like they are valued and that the business trusts them to do their job no matter their hours or location. It will make them feel more relaxed, reduce any stress, and likely increase productiveness because they will want to prove their employer right about trusting them.
3. Retain employees
If you don’t offer flexible working and another business can offer the same type of role with flexible hours, the likelihood is that your employees will leave. This could particularly happen if an employee has decided they want to have children, but the business doesn’t offer flexible working. If they don’t have much choice, finding employment elsewhere that can fit their plans better is only sensible.
Without this, you’re opening the possibility of the business losing employees, some which might be valuable members of the team or skilled and trained specifically for their role.
4. Stand out as an employer
If a candidate had applied to both your business and another and was offered roles by both, they are likely to be more inclined to apply to a role that allows them to be flexible. This is especially so if they are a parent or live in a location that would require them to travel far for work.
5. Cost-effective for both the business and employees
Having employees work from home and choosing when they want to come into the office allows the business to have a smaller office space. This means the outgoings will be considerably less, such as rent, bills and furniture.
It also provides your employees with more disposable income because they won’t need to pay for transport or the cost of running a car every day. This can only be a good thing.
People all work at a different pace and might find that they have specific times in the day where they feel more productive. That’s because each of us is different and has different working patterns.
Flexible working means that those people can choose to work when they know that they’re most productive. For some, it might be that early in the morning works better for them, and others might find later in the day better. But letting people work out their best schedules means that productivity overall could increase.
Flexible working benefits both the employer and employee
What you will discover from this article is that flexible working isn’t only beneficial to you as the employer, but also for your employees. It will make the thought of work more of a positive thing, especially when so many people dislike their jobs.
A global poll found that only 15 percent of people feel engaged at work, leaving 85 percent not engaged and unhappy. Be that employer where your employees are engaged and enjoy working.
Are you an employer that allows flexible working? Have you found that it benefits your business? If so, let us know how it has below, so more employers can consider flexible working.
Please be advised that this article is for general informational purposes only, and should not be used as a substitute for advice from a trained business or financial adviser. Be sure to consult a business or financial adviser if you’re seeking advice about implementing flexible working. We are not liable for risks or issues associated with using or acting upon the information on this site.