In the past, flexible working was largely offered to people who faced some challenges with traditional working hours, such as carers and parents of young children, but we’ve seen a huge expansion in its offering in recent years, very much more as an added ‘perk of the job’.
According to research amongst 500 managerial-level employees within medium to large businesses outlined in the report Working anywhere: A winning formula for good work, flexible working will be the primary way of working for 70% of organisations by 2020.
It’s been proven that this way of working can result in improvements to employee wellbeing, an increase in productivity and a reduction in sickness absence, as well as an organisation’s enhanced ability to attract and retain talent. It’s fast becoming one of the more popular benefits for employers to offer, as emphasis is placed more squarely on outputs rather than presence, with many employees feeling that they can achieve more outside of normal working hours, or even away from the workplace itself.
The ever-increasing use of technology has had a huge impact on the way people connect and engage with each other too, and it’s due to these advances that people physically don’t need to be present in the office as they once were.
Many employers don’t currently offer flexible working though and this could be down to their eagerness to make good use of business premises, the size of the organisation not being able to cater for such working, or managers not being convinced of the real financial benefits. It often comes down to the type of industry and needs of the business too. But, if the interests of the business and its employees can meet, it’s a real no-brainer, and a trend which many employers should be considering now to stay ahead of the game in the future.
As an employer or employee, how do you benefit from flexible working? We’d love to hear your thoughts!
Until next time…