A lot of employees would like to work on a flexible basis but what exactly is flexible working and how can is benefit not only employees but employers?

There are many ways of working flexibly. Job sharing, working part time, using flexi-time, annualised hours and of course working from home. All employees have the legal right to request flexible working hours if they have worked for their employer for 26 weeks or more. Employers don’t have to agree to a request to work flexible hours, although they must deal with the request in a reasonable way. If there is a good business reason why working flexible would be a disadvantage to the employer they have the right to refuse the employees request.

Working From Home

This is the one that most think about when we talk about flexible working. Allowing staff to work from home requires trust from the employer and in turn allows the employee to feel value and trusted, more motivated and loyal to the company they are working for. It can be hard to monitor productivity so there must be set guidelines as to core hours that need to be worked and situations when an employee must come into the office. Generally, allowing flexible working creates more job satisfaction and improves moral, as well as reduces sickness absenteeism. Creating a better work life balance for your staff also has a positive impact of staff retention and commitment.

A word of caution though as sometimes work and home lines can get blurred. An employer may feel it’s fine to call someone out of office hours if they work from home so making sure those guidelines and core hours are agreed beforehand is key.

Creating a Flexible Working Policy

If you are an employer planning to introduce a flexible working policy, there are things to consider. What type of flexibility suits the businesses? Are all job roles within the business suited to working at home? What will you have to think about in terms of IT support and data security? Can your staff access their emails at home?

Always keep your staff informed and work with them to ask how they see flexible working being effective in your business.

If you need help with creating HR Policies and Documents give us a call on 01722 334433