Is 9-5 still a ‘thing’?

Did you know, less than one in 10 job adverts list flexible working as a benefit despite 87% of full-time employees saying it’s a workplace commodity they either already have or want?

In an age where technological advancements are transforming how we can work, lots of businesses are missing important tricks that could be costing them the talent they need, but here’s why it needs to stop:

  1. It’s what current and future employees are screaming out for. That means if you’re not offering it, there’s more chance of them upping sticks and leaving to someone who does.
  2. It saves and earns you money. Employees really appreciate being able to work flexibly and that often equates to more discretionary input, better workplace cultures, lower turnover rates, improved employee-brand images, and healthier-looking bottom lines. 

Don’t worry, we’ll cover all this in more detail a little later on.

What is flexible working?

There are lots of different ways to work flexibly which can sometimes cause confusion. Here’s a breakdown of a few of the most common types:

Flexible working type & what is means?

  1. Part-time working- Anything less than your business’ standard full-time hours.
  2. Remote working- When employees spend all or part of their time working away from your business – usually from their home.
  3. Job sharing- A full-time job that’s split between two employees who agree the hours between them.
  4. Compressed hours – Working, say, a full five-day weeks’ worth of hours in four days.
  5. Flexi-time- Giving employees the option and freedom to work outside your set hours. For example, they might be able to work two hours less on Wednesday if they make up for the time on Thursday.

Why do people want flexible working?

  • 57% say it gives them more control over their work-life balance
  • 50% just think it’s generally useful or convenient
  • 33% say it helps them cut their commute time down
  • 32% spend the extra time on leisure and study activities
  • 20% say it fits around other work commitments better
  • 14% are able to work around their health or disability
  • 29% use the perk to help with caring responsibilities

Flexible working and the B-word…

Brexit. Organisations up and down the country are concerned their talent pool will be restricted and there’s no point in us sugarcoating it, business confidence is pretty low.

There are two things we know though:

  1. There’s a whole load of uncertainty around it, and
  2. Whatever does happen will shape businesses and workforces for decades to come.

To bridge the gaps Brexit’s building, many employers are turning to more creative ways to attract the talent they need, and placing people at the centre of their activities is certainly one of them.

Flexible working: the benefits

Flexible working is a huge perk for employees, that’s a given, but it’s equally if not more beneficial for businesses and here’s why:

  1. According to 83% of employers, it increases productivity, and
  2. More than three-fifths (61%) say it improves profits.

Let’s delve a little deeper into the return for your business…

Retain your talent

Almost three in 10 (28%) employees say more convenient hours is one of the main reasons they’d look for a new job, that means up to a third of your workforce could have their eye on outside employers if you don’t keep up with the times.

And if you do give them what they want? Expect happier teams, greater productivity and lower employee turnover rates; aka the ingredients for a healthy culture and more profits. 

Attract new talent

Unemployment rates are at the lowest they’ve been since the 1970s and that means the competition to attract top talent is tougher than it’s been in a long time. There are other factors that’ll determine your recruitment efforts, of course, but this one’s a biggie.

Lots of job hunters actually place the benefits of flexible working over other things – like salary and location – so you could even attract top dollar talent with a lower price tag (within reason!).

Tip 1: make sure you remember to highlight your approach to flexible working in your job descriptions.

Tip 2: don’t claim to advocate flexible working if you don’t, even if you do manage to sneak them through the recruitment process it’ll reflect in your retention numbers in the long run.

Get more out of your teams

One of most employers’ biggest worries around adopting flexible working practices is that people will start to take the mick. If they’re not in the office, how can I see what they’re up to? What if they don’t actually make up the hours like they’re supposed to? 

The results say quite the opposite though because employees see flexible working as a luxury. They appreciate the freedom, they value the benefits and they’re thankful for the option. As a result, they end up putting in more effort than they might have before.

Improve your business’ image

Did you know, 10% of employees say lack of flexibility has a negative impact on their health and wellbeing?

Happy workers make productive workers and happy and productive workers make great company cultures. Not only does that snowball and make your current employees even happier but it lures fresh meat in too, because who doesn’t want a piece of that kind of pie?

Cut your overheads

If people are working from home they’re using their electricity, WiFi and water and that’s one less cost for you to account for. So ask yourself, do you really need your teams in the same office? More often than not the answer is, or with a little compromise could be, no.

It’s the small things: working from home lets people cram lots of those little life chores into their day too, like putting on a wash, emptying the dishwasher and hoovering the hallway during their lunch break and people really value that.