Benefits of flexible working for employers
Flexible working is becoming a more common model for many businesses, especially since the coronavirus pandemic. The traditional 9-5 is no longer the set way of operating in the modern working world. It’s important to note that flexible working is not just beneficial for employees, but it can be advantageous for employers and the business overall. In this guide we’ll be exploring what the benefits of flexible working are for employers, so you can consider whether it’s the right option for your business.
What does flexible working mean?
Flexible working refers to a way of working that an employee can request to better suit their needs, whether that’s changing their start and finish times, or working from home on certain days. Every employee has the legal right to request flexible working after they have been with that employer for 26 weeks. This doesn’t mean that you have to approve the request if you think it will negatively impact your business. However, in the right circumstances, having a flexible working policy in place can have a positive effect on the business for employers.
Examples of flexible working
Flexible working can encompass any time that is different from the typical pattern. Usually, the first thing that people think of with flexible working is working from home or changing your hours, but there can be several types depending on what works best for the employee and the employer. These include:
- Fully remote – the employee working completely remote, often from their own home.
- Hybrid working – employees split their time between working in the office and being remote.
- Compressed hours – this allows an employee to work their full contracted hours but over less days. For example, instead of the normal 9-5 with a 1-hour lunch break Monday to Friday they might work 8am until 5:45pm Monday to Thursday with an hour lunch break.
- Flexitime – this means an employee has more control over their start and finish time. The business will set core hours within the day to meet working needs but around that the working hours can be specified to each individual worker.
What are the benefits of flexible working for employers?
This is one of, if not the main benefit of flexible working because if employees are happier at work, they are more likely to stay with the business for a longer time. Research has shown that one of the most popular employer benefits is flexible working. Offering it as an option builds a strong foundation of loyalty and a good relationship between employee and employer. This improves company culture and reduces costs of having to hire and train new employees.
If employees are feeling overworked and stressed, they’re more likely to take frequent sick days and potentially quit, leading to an increased turnover of staff. Flexible working can make a significant difference in managing stress, creating a better work life balance, and promoting a healthier work environment.
By offering flexible working as a benefit, when you’re recruiting for new staff, you can attract high quality candidates just as effectively as with a good salary. Research has shown that flexible working is amongst the top benefits candidates look for and take into consideration when searching for a new role. They are more likely to choose a company that offers this type of flexibility over one that doesn’t.
Another benefit of flexible working is that you can extend the business hours of the company as there will be staff covering different hours outside of 9-5. This helps to make it easier to achieve your daily business goals and satisfy client requirements.
Flexible working can even help to save costs by reducing the amount of office space required, saving on travel costs and other overheads that businesses typically need to spend for normal 9-5 working hours.
Flexible working can have many benefits for employers as we have seen. However, it’s important to implement it in the right way and make sure employees understand the terms and expectations if they follow a flexible working pattern. This is where professional and tailored HR advice for employers can be helpful.
Employment Law Services (ELS) Ltd provide specialist services for businesses including offering relevant employment advice for employers. Book a free consultation online today to discuss your employment law needs and don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.