The way we work is changing and the demand for flexible working hours is increasing, not only among parents but also Millennials. Many employers, however, are not currently taking advantage of the various benefits flexible working offers. Flexible working is not only beneficial to employees but also to employers and their businesses.
Happy and productive employees are good for business
Research shows that employees are more productive and happy being able to work flexibly, and employers can enjoy better recruitment and retainment, as well as financial savings.
Benefits of flexible working hours
There are many benefits to flexible working, for both employees and employers.
ViewVo fan Emma Scott, a Freelance Consultant and Associate at The Hoxby Collective global community of freelancing specialists, explores the positive aspects of flexible working in her article below. Her article was originally published on LinkedIn but she has kindly allowed us to share it with you here.
Five reasons why you should offer flexible working to your team
Employee demand for flexible working is growing fast and not just by working parents. Millennials, in particular, are driving this change. However, this need is not currently being met. In my last article, I touched upon the benefits of flexible working to employers. I wanted to explore this in greater detail as I feel it is an important part of the jigsaw in making flexible working standard operating practice.
1. Greater productivity
In reality, not everyone is going to produce their best work within the 9-5 routine. Some work better early morning, others at night or at different points in the day. Employees should be given the autonomy to manage their time in a way that allows them to be as productive and creative as possible. This has obvious benefits for the employer, such as higher work-outputs and greater quality of work. In addition, allowing home working or employees to travel at non-peak times has been shown to have a positive impact on productivity as well as energy levels. A survey by Vodafone showed that 83% respondents reported an improvement in productivity and 61% reported an increase in profits from offering flexible working.
2. Access to a broader talent pool
Companies offering flexible working schedules are able to select from a wider pool of applicants, increasing the likelihood of finding the best candidate for the role. This is particularly important in the event of skills shortages, economic changes and continuing technological disruptions. The more flexible working options available, the more candidates that a company can select from and the better a workforce they can create.
3. Better recruitment and retention
A report by CIPD found that flexible working and a shorter commute are important considerations for job seekers, particularly Millennials and Generation Z. Employers need to actively promote flexible working when advertising roles and have an open conversation with candidates about workstyles that will work.
A report by ERS, in conjunction with the British Heart Foundation, found a fall in staff turnover in 33% of employer wellness programmes, which led to a reduction in recruitment and training costs. This is supported by further research, which found that flexible working leads to an increase in job satisfaction and organisational commitment. In addition, a Vodafone survey found that 58% of respondents reported an increase in reputation from offering flexible working.
4. Employee wellbeing
A report by CIPD into absence management found that access to flexible working arrangements is an effective method for reducing short- and long-term absence in organisations. A report by ERS found a reduction in absence in 82% of employer wellness programmes, which as a result led to a reduction in overtime payments and permanent and temporary staff costs. Flexible working is also noted as a supportive tool in reducing levels of stress and mental health in the workplace. It is important to offer flexible working to all as it creates an even playing field and prevents feelings of resentment from other employees.
I look forward to the results of the CBI’s first health and wellbeing survey later this year, with a focus on mental health and what more both business and government can do to improve employee health and wellbeing.
5. Cost savings
Adopting a flexible working policy can offer significant cost savings to companies, including, as mentioned, a reduction in costs associated with absenteeism, turnover, recruitment and training. Flexible working in the form of home working can offer further benefits. Encouraging home or remote working has shown to provide companies with significant energy and property cost savings that can extend into the millions of pounds.
The time for change is now
Advancements in technology and the globalisation of business means work can increasingly be done from anyway. Employers need to incorporate a meaningful flexible working policy that is supported throughout the organisation in order to attract the best talent and maintain a competitive advantage. Employers that do not, will continue to lose out on a diverse and talented workforce to their competitors and the many benefits they could receive.
Emma Scott is a freelance consultant and writer covering flexible working, diversity and inclusion. Emma has over six years of consulting experience, working with EY and PwC. She is open to collaborating on content, research and consulting projects.
Read the original article here.