How can flexible working help your business?

As an HR Consultant, if I had £1 for every time a client said to me that “flexible working is only for parents” I would be a very wealthy lady!

Even though most have adapted since the pandemic, it’s important to make sure the right processes are followed and employees are aware of how the business manages requests. Remember flexible working is different to hybrid working arrangements when it comes to employment law!

who is flexible working for?

Whilst flexible working is traditionally associated with working parents, and whilst dependents are often a popular reason for requests, this is simply a myth. The answer is that everyone has the right to request flexible working arrangements with their employer. It doesn’t guarantee that a request will be granted, but the employer must follow the correct procedure when requests are made and they must be considered objectively.

the business case for flexible working

There is often a perception that flexible working can send out the wrong message, making them hesitant to actively promote flexible working.

The business case for flexible working can help companies with some of their biggest challenges such as recruitment, retention, absence, overall wellbeing and enhanced levels of employee engagement.

Recruitment and benefits

When it comes to recruitment, flexible working can be used as a great attraction tool. By advertising your vacancies as flexible, this can generate a larger group of candidates to choose from so you can get the right person for the job.

Other benefits to flexible working are the reduction in levels of turnover, absence levels and employees are more likely to go the extra mile for their employer as a result. The report highlights that employees who work flexibly have a much higher level of job satisfaction and demonstrate a greater commitment to their employer in comparison to those who work the typical 9-5.

The overall advantages to promoting flexible working outweigh the arguments against it; businesses will become more competitive, they will be seen as a desirable employer, some such as Ford have seen increased productivity and reduced costs. Additionally, flexible companies are also be able to adapt and respond to the changing and uncertain market more easily.

what is the process?

In your business, you should have a flexible working policy which outlines the procedure, this may include a form to record the request and then the employee should be invited to a formal meeting (they have statutory rights as part of this). Lastly the request needs to be carefully considered and if it is rejected, there needs to be a good reason for it.

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