As we get closer to the end of this pandemic, flexible working becomes more important. We should see an increase in organizations offering flexible working now that we have proven that it is not only manageable but also successful for so many people. Two-thirds of employers are unwilling to introduce new types of flexible working; “research… showed that only three out of ten employers (30%) are looking to introduce new types of flexible working (excluding working from home) over the next year.” Despite the fact that this figure appears to indicate the end of flexible working, the reverse is true. It’s evident that the way we work has shifted dramatically. The truth is that the advantages of flexible working are beneficial to both firms and employees. Flexible working hours have arrived, and they are here to stay.
What does “Flexible Working” entail?
Flexible working refers to a work arrangement that allows you to choose how long, where, when, and/or what time you work, as opposed to the standard 9 to 5 work schedule. Flexible working takes numerous forms, from remote work to job sharing, and is highly flexible to the needs of the individual.
But, what are the advantages of flexible working for both firms and employees? Let’s have a look.
Businesses gain from flexible working arrangements
Companies may be hesitant to employ flexible working in the long run owing to a fear of reorganizing their operating model, but they must think about future-proofing their firm. You can come up with a slew of excuses not to launch the boat, but you’ll soon find yourself in trouble. We’ve changed the way we work, and it’s for the better. The advantages of flexible working for employers will surpass any disadvantages that may develop. For example, by using it today, you will be able to adapt to the intricacies involved far faster than others and gain these benefits.
You can analyze your costs and realize you can save a lot of money by shrinking your real estate footprint by introducing flexible working. Not only will you save money on rent, but you’ll also save money on IT, furnishings, and utilities. You can also save money by hiring a flexible service provider who provides short-term flexible leases.
Absenteeism and Presenteeism are reduced
According to a 2017 analysis by the Centre of Mental Health, presenteeism (lower productivity at work owing to illness) costs the UK £21.2 billion each year. You can save your individual expenditures and improve your employees’ mental health by providing flexible working choices. The same can be said for absenteeism, with the report estimating that sickness-related absences cost the UK £10.6 billion each year, with an additional £3.1 billion spent on workforce turnover owing to poor mental health alone. Flexible working, whether it’s hybrid, part-time, or job sharing, can improve your employee’s mental health, boosting productivity and lowering costs.
Flexibility fosters creativity and, as a result, increases employee productivity. Employers have discovered that flexible working (working from home) hasn’t resulted in a decrease in output, and in some cases, has increased productivity. According to a CIPD survey, 71 percent of employers believe that working from home has either increased or had no effect on productivity.
Morale & Retention of Employees
You will develop corporate loyalty by providing flexible working choices to your employees, who will be less likely to change employment if you do so. Employees have a wide range of personal commitments, and allowing them work flexibility to maintain a good work/life balance will boost morale and attract fresh talent. As a result, firms who provide flexible working arrangements have a significant competitive advantage in the hiring process and have access to a bigger talent pool.
Employees have the option of working from home
Employers can benefit enormously from flexible working, as we already know, but what are the true benefits of flexible working for employees? Employees have been requesting flexible working arrangements since the birth of the personal computer, in fact. And now that the pandemic has been over a year, we can see the benefits of flexible working, as evidenced by a study conducted by academics at Cardiff University and the University of Southampton, which found that nearly 90% of those who worked more flexibly during the pandemic want to do so once it is over.
Improved Work-Life Balance
Flexible working allows employees to adjust to their personal life, such as parental and familial duties, by giving them the time and space they need. According to the CIPD, 20% of working individuals are stressed by family ties, while more than half of those who work flexibly believe it helps them achieve a good work/life balance. Allowing employees this much-needed flexibility can help them feel less stressed, which leads to a more productive and happy team.
Increased Job Satisfaction
Allowing employees to set their own working hours and schedules can have a huge impact on their job happiness. People work more effectively when they have the freedom to select when and where they work. It boosts their concentration and productivity. Employees with flexible work schedules are more likely to have an entrepreneurial spirit, which is good for their confidence and overall job happiness. Employee burnout can be reduced by the liberty of flexible working because employees will be more comfortable taking time off to recover.
Expenses are being cut back
It may appear to be a minor advantage, but not having to commute not only improves your mental health but also saves you money. The average London commuter spends £5,114 per year, according to polls. The intangible mental cost of unpaid hours spent traveling to and from work is not included. You can save a lot of money on your commute if you work flexibly, whether it’s part-time or full-time from home. The savings grow tremendously when you consider not having to buy meals or pay for childcare.
Of course, there are certain drawbacks to working from home. While flexibly working, some people face a stigma known as flexism, in which employees are discriminated against because they execute their jobs in a flexible manner. Nonetheless, any disadvantage, such as this one, is more suggestive of organizational issues than flexible working. Working from home is on the rise, if not already the norm. The actual value of which has yet to be fully realized.