From June this year all employees in the UK (who've been employed for 6 months) can now request flexible working.
Just because they can, doesn't mean they will or that it will suit every employee or business. Don't panic - this could be great for your business.
Flexible working allows people to work in a different way:
- reduced working hours - either permanently or temporarily
- compressed hours - contracted hours in fewer (longer) days
- park time working
- overtime - to cover peaks in demand
- working from home - full-time, part-time, occasional
- different start/end times (flexitime)
You can attract the right people for your business - not everyone wants to work a standard 9-5, five days a week or your business might not need full-time staff.
You'll have a more productive, motivated and loyal workforce if people are able to work hours that fit around their lifestyle or other commitments - childcare, carer, life changes, study etc.
Saves time for travel and commuting which can be quite significant for many people.
Having a flexible working environment in your business could enable you to extend your business hours outside a standard working day by having staff who start early or finish later in the day. Good for businesses with overseas customers or providers, as they can cover a broader timezone.
Reduces overtime and overhead costs, potentially freeing up office space or reducing the need for expansion.
You build a level of trust with your employees. Once you've got over the idea they'll be sitting around watching daytime TV, they'll actually get a lot more done if they're working flexibly from home, away from the everyday distractions and interruptions in the office.
What you need to consider:
- additional costs involved
- reorganise, managing the existing workload
- recruiting temporary or agency staff
- skills and potential within the business
- impact on quality and performance
Consider the needs of the business and your staff member before making a decision on whether flexible working is appropriate.
The Right To Request Flexible Working (ACAS Guide)
Code of Practice (ACAS Guide)
Liberating or isolating - working from home
The benefits of flexible working
flexible (Photo credit: darkmatter)