The benefits of flexible working

Over the past few months I've been limited in the amount of time I spend working, so I've been working flexibly.

It's something you can do too - especially if you're running your own business.  You don't need to stick to a strict 9-5 if it doesn't suit you or your lifestyle.

While it helps to have a routine to your day there are a few options:
  • Start and finish early or late to avoid the rush hour traffic.  Avoid spending/wasting extra time stuck in traffic.  Make sure you avoid the trap of starting early and then finishing late, so you end up working a longer day.
  • If you need or want to take time out during the day - for children, friends or just for yourself, then adjust your working day.  Start work early or fit a couple of hours into the afternoon.
  • Early birds and night owls  - you may be more productive or prefer to work early in the morning or later in the evening but don't do this at the expense of getting enough sleep.
Many companies are now allowing their employees to work more flexibly:

- Flexitime - vary the start and end to your work day.  These can also be staggered within a team to provide extended cover across the day - useful when working with other timezones.

- Compressed working - work the same number of hours but in fewer days i.e. you have one or two longer days but get a full or half day off in the week.

- Shortened hours - you may be able to switch to part-time or job share and work fewer hours.

- Working from home - great for when you focused time away from the usual office distractions or to fit with childcare or carer duties.
Flexibility (Photo credit: Canon in 2D)
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