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WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF FLEXIBLE WORKING?

Flexible working gives your people the freedom to tailor their working days to their personal needs. That flexibility is achieved through benefits such as ‘flexitime’ – the ability to choose when you start and finish your day, working from home or another location, working part-time, term time only or any variation of the above.

The constraints of the 9-5 model, invented during nineteenth century socialism, are outdated and in desperate need of an overhaul. And what’s more, the 40-hour work week was introduced almost 80 years ago to create a fairer working environment. So, in a world that’s changing at as fast a pace as ever, with no signs of slowing down, why are we still applying working hours created for the labour market of the 1940s?

Fortunately, more and more business owners are realising that productivity isn’t brought about by prescribing rigid working hours, patterns or locations. Instead, the employee-employer relationship has evolved to be based on trust; giving your people the power to produce their best work whenever, wherever and however suits them.

LinkedIn’s 2019 Global Talent Trends Report found a 78% spike in job posts that mention flexible working over the last two years on the site. And its growing prevalence, brought about by its popularity, is seeing it transform from a perk into an expectation.

So, if it’s not already, why should flexible working be on your agenda? We countdown the key benefits of flexible working.

Benefits for Employees

Making life count

Flexible working means you can meet any requirements you may have as a family member or a friend, all while working exactly the same number of hours. You’ll never miss your daughter’s nativity again. Or her sports day. Or her graduation.

And as for your friends, why not use your new-found freedom to start a new hobby? Anyone for badminton? Yoga? Wine tasting?

That’s the beauty of flexible working. You can still work a 9-5 if it suits you, but on those days when you’d love to cut out your commute, start a bit later or finish a bit earlier, you can.

Save yourself money and stress

Commutes suck. Especially if you’re working a 9-5. We’re yet to find anyone that enjoys rush-hour traffic. It saps the enthusiasm out of your day, causes stress and drains your bank account in the process.

Quite frankly: drawn out commutes are a waste of your time. They’re unproductive minutes and hours snatched from your day. And especially if you’re travelling in a car, they always will be. We read a Swiss study recently that found every extra minute a worker spends getting to work contributes to reduced satisfaction in not only their job, but their life overall.

While changing your hours to avoid rush-hour traffic on your commute will save you bumper-to-bumper stress and reduce your fuel costs, working from home eliminates those costs and your carbon footprint altogether. What’s more, you’ll probably be saving on your lunch and any childcare too.

Be trusted to take control

The freedom to have personal control over your schedule and work environment will do your job satisfaction the world of good. It will increase your confidence and boost your sense of responsibility.

Being able to work when and where you accomplish most is one of the key reasons flexible working isn’t deemed a ‘perk’ anymore. That’s because your productivity, happiness and loyalty benefit your business as much as they do you. In fact, flexible working presents a ton of benefits for employers. Let’s take a look:

Benefits for Employers

Attract the best people

Following on from all the employee benefits of flexible working we’ve already mentioned, it’s easy to see why it’s a huge plus point for anyone choosing their next workplace. With flexibility on offer, we’ll develop our image as an employer of choice and enhance our ability to attract incredible people.

And as flexible working arrangements become commonplace, we all run the risk of lagging behind the competition if we don’t embrace them.

Retain top talent

As we’ve said: the ability to work whenever and wherever’s best for you boosts morale, increases productivity and generates more engagement. Individuals feel trusted and valued, but ultimately, they’re much more likely to be committed to the business.

This approach is proven to reduce turnover, cutting down the steep costs associated with recruiting and training new hires.

Flex to meet demand

Your people can adapt their hours to the peaks and troughs of your business’s demand. This can cut costs and maximise productivity. And it’s particularly useful if you have international clients in different time zones because you can meet their needs without requiring overtime.

Save money on overheads

Giving your people the chance to work outside of the office may allow you to reduce your number of desks, computers and other equipment, and cut your spend on bills. Tech giants Dell have reportedly saved $12million a year through their flexible working program for these exact reasons. Less desks means more space for other options – how will you use yours?

How do our people feel about flexibility?

Judging by the feedback from our people in our Culture Book, our flexible working offering is one of the key reasons they love working here. It puts our purpose to ‘Make Life Count’ into practice. And it means none of them ever have to choose between success at work and happiness at home. Have a read of our life at cooper parry page to learn more about our culture.

WANT TO CHAT ABOUT ANY OF THE ABOVE?

APRIL HOMER, Partner & Chief People Officer

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