Our contribution this week comes from Project Resource’s Client Services Manager, Claire Light. Claire originally joined the business as a Recruitment Consultant but took time off to have her first child in early 2008, she rejoined us as Client Services Manager in 2009. Since then time she has spent her time developing relationships with employers across the country; this has given her an excellent perspective on the breadth of staffing practices employed, knowledge she’s kind enough to share through her blog.
For those who are unfamiliar with Flexible working or ‘flexi-time’ the concept is pretty simple; each day has core hours of say 10-4 during which an employee must be in the office, beyond this they are free (within reason of course) to make up their contracted hours as and when they choose.
Flexible working is something that I have direct experience of. I have been fortunate enough to align my office hours to fit around an 8am drop off and 5.30pm collection times of my son’s nursery. Therefore I was pleased to read the recent Staffing Industry Analyst Article that highlighted that flexible working is no longer the exception in UK businesses.
The article (which can be read here); highlights that four fifths of UK businesses are now offering their staff flexible working patterns.
I am a firm believer that flexible working can be as valuable to an employer as it is to their employee. Speaking from personal experience I have always benefited from being organised; however the fact that I have to be out of the door by 5pm each evening means that I am now much more efficient. The time that I spend in the office is focused and dedicated to delivering an end result before this deadline.
On the flip side there is also enough modern technology to ensure I can connect with the team in the office and employers remotely. If I do have uncompleted tasks or e-mails to catch up on they can be viewed on my blackberry or via a remote desktop connection.
So when considering whether to offer your employees the option of flexible working ask yourself some simple questions:
- When do you need them in the office? At what times is the business less efficient or effective because of their physical absence?
- Will it help or enrich them personably or professional to have this greater flexibility?
- Will they be more productive when they are working if they have greater control of their time? This is particularly relevant for roles where one day can be hectic and a few hours extra are required and another day so quiet they may find themselves sitting on their hands. You can even save money here if they would otherwise require paid overtime to get everything done.
I hope this has been useful and that you are able to use flexible working to benefit you, your business and your employees.