What is flexible working?
Everything you need to know about flexible working: what it is, how it can benefit you, and the best tips to make it a success Flexible working is by no…
It’s been called ‘The Future of Work’ and ‘The Next Great Disruption’, but does flexible working make sense for your business?
The pandemic forced us all to adapt to new realities, not the least of which was the swift and sometimes stressful shift to remote working for a huge number of employees. While many of us initially saw this as a short-lived solution, as the lockdowns dragged on, it increasingly became a way of life.
With studies last year indicating more than half of employers expect a surge in flexible work requests from their employees after the pandemic, it’s clear the flexi option needs to be given serious consideration if a company wants to stay at the forefront of their industry. In fact, even before the pandemic, research found that as many as 87% of us wanted more flexibility in our work structure, so it’s no wonder that it has become the preferred way to live and work for a lot of Tiger’s candidates.
However, not every employer is convinced by the new dynamic, and feel that its merits remain unproven. This cautious approach could prove costly in the long run though, as we’re seeing candidates go so far as to turn down roles that require 5 days a week in the office. So, in what ways can flexible working be shown to provide benefits for both parties?
As we’ve mentioned in a recent Forbes article, the pandemic had a significant effect on the culture of presenteeism and long-hours working. The happy result of the reduced micromanagement was that both employers and employees could stop measuring their worth on sometimes misleading metrics like number of hours worked, and focus instead on what has actually been achieved. Less clock-watching takes a load off employees’ minds and frees up much-needed mental energy for delivering exceptional work.
Post-lockdown studies have shown that, on average, surveyed companies are reducing their office space by 30%. These companies are shifting to flexible work options like hot desks, with fewer staff on-site on a given day. Of course, this can reduce overheads significantly, and a quieter office has its own perks, as we’ll see in the next point.
Naturally, working from home isn’t for everybody, and many employees thrive in a busy, fast-paced office. But we often neglect those who hit peak performance in quieter settings. Flexible working gives these employees more control of their environment, so they can maximise their productivity and work to their natural rhythms.
With more employees taking up the option of a hybrid work-week, the once ubiquitous morning sight of packed trains, buses and gridlocked traffic isn’t such a sure bet anymore. With fewer nerve-jangling commutes, employees are arriving to offices still brimming with morning energy and raring to go. Companies can also offer commute-easing incentives to encourage employees into the office more regularly, such as cycle-to-work schemes, hot desks in more nearby offices, and flexible start times.
Increased market confidence has put the ball back in the employees’ and jobseekers’ court, and businesses hoping to attract the top talent would do well to keep flexible working at the forefront of their offers. This type of tailored benefit shows respect for employees’ wellbeing, and could give you the edge over your competitors.
Another welcome effect of increased employee autonomy is a deeper sense of satisfaction in their role. They feel more valued and trusted by their employers, and a greater ownership over the work they’re doing. They are thus much more likely to remain loyal to their company, and are a great advert for attracting further talent.
It’s more and more apparent that flexible, hybrid working is here to stay, and is becoming a key enticement for talent. Our Hybrid Working Survey report digs deeper into just how important it is for jobseekers, so be sure to request your copy today.
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