How does flexible working benefit employees and employers?
Flexible working has been one of the hottest talking points in recent times. Since its introduction back in April 2003, employers have witnessed requests for flexi-working increase. Gone are the days of the standard Monday to Friday, 9-5 with an increasing number of mobile friendly workforces. A recent study conducted by TUC found that the British also work longer hours during the working week compared to the rest of Europe. This is before you even consider travelling to and from the office. It’s therefore no wonder that the opportunity to work on a more flexible contract has attracted vast interest from millions of employees both nationally and internationally.
What is flexible working?
Flexible working is the mode of working which is tailored to suit the employee’s needs. It’s considered the working patterns which will deviate from the normal working pattern. From hotdesking, job sharing, early finishes, late starts and picking your own hours, the list of flexible working opportunities are endless.
According to a recent industry survey, 80% said when faced with two similar employment offers, they would turn down the one that didn’t offer flexible working.
What are the benefits of flexible working?
1. Money saving:
Travel costs continue to rise each year and this rise shows no signs of decelerating with the average UK employee spending £146 in their monthly commute. With the option to work from home, employees could save upwards of £1752 each year, enough for an extra two-week holiday to the palm beaches of the Caribbean or even the sunny side of Australia.
2. More time with family:
Working in an office can possible be considered as a huge barrier to happy family time. The average full-time worker will spend upwards of 12 hours a day in the surroundings of their colleagues than their family. This is before you factor in the commuting time. Through flexible working, you can spend the time you’d normally waste on travelling into work with your family instead.
3. More balanced life:
Once you’ve settled into your own timetable and balancing it with your personal commitments, employees will benefit from enjoying the job more as well as life in general. Whether it’s spending more time with family or having greater time to participate in events and sports, you’re guaranteed to see results.
Less than two in ten UK adults today work 9-5 gathered by a study from YouGov. Employees prefer an early start and finish enabling greater time to be spent with family and friends.
4. Less Stress:
Spending hours sitting in packed trains and traffic jam often drives employees up the wall. It’s no surprise that commuting is one of the most stressful activities for employees throughout the working day. Working from home will help to reduce stress whilst also reducing chances of health issues.
Research carried out by Consultancy UK found that employee stress leading to employee sick days and time off is costing employers over £250 billion in lost time. For the very first time, 2018 saw work-related stress anxiety or depression account for over half of all working days lost due to ill health in the United Kingdom.
5. Greater job satisfaction:
The opportunity to have freedom to choose when, where and how you work has been found to leave employees with greater job satisfaction. Whether employees gain benefit from working from home, in a coworking environment, in the park or sitting in a café, employees have the opportunity for their perfect space to gather their thoughts away from their daily work environments.
6. Networking opportunities:
Whether you’re hotdesking, working from a café or even coworking, networking opportunities present itself as you’re surrounded by other like-minded individuals and businesses. Collaborating with other businesses can provide a quick break from your daily work whilst also inviting the opportunity to grow your brand.
7. Helping the environment:
Flexible working will no doubt help reduce your carbon footprint. Whether you commute into work by car, train or bus, you’re contributing to increasing the carbon emissions polluted daily. Working from home not only helps individuals to save time travelling into work, but ensures you’re taking the correct steps to a more environmentally friendly environment.
8. Play to your strengths:
Many employees are more productive throughout different periods of the working day. Where certain individuals may be a morning person, others may prefer a morning lay in. The opportunity to work at a time which is convenient to the employee can benefit employers to see better results and longer-term benefits.