Finding the right path
For me I was looking at a couple of options when I was made redundant from Barclays. I was in the process of setting up my own business though I was also applying for employed and contracting roles. My decision was made for me when a new client called me to ask for my help and that was when Wendy Johnstone Ltd came to life.
If I think back to this time, there were some virtual flexible working opportunities, though definitely not enough and in my experience, it was the large corporate businesses who were the worst. I experienced a period myself where I had to be seen in the office as proof that I was working. One thing I can guarantee, and I am sure you agree is that this just isn’t a heathy environment to work in.
Over the past few years, remote working has become a way of life for many of us. And since the Covid-19 crisis, it has become the ‘new normal’ for many team members. One day people were attending meetings in their offices, the next they were connecting their laptops from home, instant messaging colleagues on Slack, and planning schedules on Trello.
Revolutionise your business
As a new generation enters the workforce, business owners are adapting the way they attract and retain staff. The introduction of flexible working is changing the way businesses operate. There’s a notable shift away from traditional 9-5 working hours into a more open arrangement. From increased productivity to providing you with an edge over your competitors when recruiting, there’re numerous benefits of introducing flexible working practices.
Benefits of flexible working for business owners
- Employee retention: This is probably the most important benefits of flexible working arrangements. A 2012 CIPD survey estimated that about 76% of over 2,500 managers surveyed cited retention as one of the more popular employer benefits of flexible working.
- Productivity: Stressed and over-worked employees are more likely to take more sick days or quit their job than ones who aren’t. Flexible working intends to tackle stress by promoting a happier, loyal and more balanced workforce.
- Recruiting: Offering flexible contributes to attracting potential recruits as much as attractive pay packages does. Research shows that it’s among the top considerations for team members looking for their new role. Workers are now more likely to prioritise companies that offer flexible working hours, as opposed to ones that don’t.
- Extended opening hours: More benefits of flexible working hours for business owners include the opportunity to extend business hours. Allowing team members to work outside of your normal hours make for a more satisfied team member.
Benefits of flexible working for team members
- Less stress: Commuting is generally thought of as one of the most stressful daily events of people’s lives. From relentless traffic to jam-packed trains it’s no wonder team members embrace the opportunity to eliminate this from their life. Apart from being an inconvenience, if left unaddressed stress can fester into other mental health issues. So offering flexible working hours gives staff members the option to manage their time effectively which reduces stress.
- Money saving: Working from home eliminates the costs of everyday commutes. It can also influence more cost-effective purchasing decisions, such as planning ahead for lunch breaks rather than making a last minute dash to a supermarket.
- Job satisfaction: Giving team members the freedom to manage their time and tasks increases their confidence and sense of ownership over projects.
- Work/life balance: The Office of National Statistics (ONS) revealed that over 70% of individuals with children are currently in the workforce. With another one in seven employees being responsible for caring for a family member. Offering your employees flexible working options allows them to balance commitments in their personal lives with the demands of their work life.
Although the pros outweigh the cons, it’s only natural we explore your options. This will help you understand which is the right fit for your business.
Disadvantages of flexible working for business owners
- Supervision: Some team members working from home may require extra supervision to make sure they’re working productively.
- Fairness: You should be consistent when addressing requests for flexible working. If team members feel that you’re not, they can make discrimination claims at an employment tribunal.
Disadvantages of flexible working for team members
- Work-life balance: Boundaries between a team members home and work life may become blurred. It becomes harder to draw a line between when they’re meant to be working and when they’re not. It also means they could be putting in more hours than they’re meant to without noticing.
- Communication: Staff members working from home can use tools like slack and google hangouts to stay in contact with their colleagues. However, they may struggle with feeling like part of the team especially if they’re working outside of the normal working hours.
Flexibility for all
As my business is relatively small one of the main benefits, we think we have over the larger ones is that we can be able to be flexible easily. The positive being that we can adapt to change as it is thrown at us. We certainly found this during Covid-19 and being a buiness that offers flexible virtual working, we were in a great position to help our clients. Many of our clients did not have the systems and processes in place to be able to operate in this way.
Now businesses are now setup in a way that supports flexibility, it makes me feel proud that we played a small part in helping with this transition. Having always been an advocate for working mums in my business, I feel sad that such a large group of talented mums and dads, go unnoticed.
Our view is that this is so positive for anyone thinking of starting a business too. It’s one of the few benefits of Covid-19. We think as a direct result you will see so many more flexible working opportunities.