The case for a flexible working policy

5 Key Benefits

Only 50% of UK employers offer flexible working. Yet, research shows that 87% of the UK’s full-time workforce wants to work flexibly, and 73% of the workforce want a workplace culture where people are judged on the work they do rather than the hours they put in. As well as this, new research shows that flexible working is more important than pay.

So, what is holding some employers back from embracing this modern way of working? Your company could save money, and increase productivity rates.

Flexible working is often seen as an initiative for working parents. However, there are many other benefits to giving employees the freedom to manage their own workload and schedule. These benefits apply not only to employees but also to the company itself.

Natalie Pancheri, HR Policy Advisor at the London School of Economics, has said: “the benefits of flexible working are well established, from increased employee engagement to better performance.”

Research shows that it’s younger workers who most want to work flexibly. As it stands, millennials are due to take over the workplace. So, it makes sense to create a workplace culture that attracts them. After all, in a candidate-driven market, employers need to make sure they have their pick of the talent.

Work-life balance is no longer a concept for the future, but it is entirely achievable now with the right policies and company culture. Heather Niblett, Client Partner for Talent Works International, works in our Northampton office 3 days a week and 2 days a week from home, as she works 2 hours away from the office. She is left to manage her own time, with her days in and out of the office changing from week to week depending on her schedule.

So, we thought we’d take you through some of the key benefits of introducing a flexible working policy into your business.

Employee Retention

As the saying goes, employees don’t leave an employer, they leave a manager. So, it goes to show that employees who feel trusted by their manager to manage their own schedule will feel no need to go elsewhere to find that trust.

High retention rates can save money and boost profitability, as employees gain experience and keep that knowledge within your company. Retaining your staff can also mean that better working partnerships are developed over a period of time. This strengthens working relations, increasing productivity and employee morale.

According to research, 76% of employees who do not feel valued look for other job opportunities.

Employee satisfaction

The value of creating a positive work-life balance for employees cannot be underestimated. Employees who can get their work done on their own terms, while also making time for appointments and self-care (such as a yoga class etc.) are more likely to be happy in their job.

As previously mentioned, employees would rather be valued on their achievements, rather than the time they spend in the office. After all, having employees in the office 8 hours a day has never guaranteed that those are 8 productive hours. If the same amount of work can be achieved while allowing the employee to prioritise their personal life, the employee will be happier.

After all, a happy workforce is a productive workforce.

Reduced commute

The hours an employee spends commuting are not productive hours. By getting rid of the need to commute, the employee can gain back that time to either rest or work. Either way, the employer is gaining an employee who is happier, more motivated and able to achieve more.

Increased productivity

Productivity has been shown to go up when employers utilise flexible working. A study of UK workers has shown that flexible working motivated employees to achieve more at work.

When employees must spend a certain amount of time in the office, they inevitably try to fulfil all their other responsibilities around these hours. So, it’s no wonder employees are burning out trying to achieve everything.

Giving employees the ability to manage their own time ultimately means less time wasted. It provides the employee with the autonomy they need to ensure they are healthy and motivated.

Reduced absenteeism

Employees who are less stressed are less likely to become unwell, ensuring they can continue to give their all to the job. According to research, “work-related stress, anxiety or depression accounts for over half of all working days lost due to ill health.”

It goes to show, taking care of your employees pays off in the end. Having happy employees can affect everything from company profits to your company culture and employer brand. In this candidate-driven market, it is of prime importance for companies to ensure their workplace policies are attracting the best talent in the market.

So, increase employee satisfaction and retention rates and increase your productivity rates by enabling your employees to manage their own workload. By trusting your employees to manage their time, you will cultivate a culture of trust and honesty. This will, in turn, result in loyal staff and low turnover rates. Ultimately, there’s everything to gain and nothing to lose by implementing a flexible working policy in your workplace.