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Tiger hosted a roundtable discussion surrounding the implementation, benefits and challenges of flexible working in September 2019. The participants were HR professionals from a range of industries and companies, and the event brought up some interesting benefits for both employees and employers.
Every participant was at a different stage of introducing flexible working into their workplace. Following the implementation of a company-wide flexible working policy, one attendee reported that EA staff turnover dramatically decreased (previously, only management were allowed to work flexibly). The same attendee stated that flexible working was also a key factor when hiring EAs, with 70-80% of candidates asking about flexible working at interview. This corroborates Tiger’s own research in our 2020 Salary and Benefits Review, where 44% of respondents ranked flexible working as the most important factor in attracting them to a role.
Other positive outcomes that were cited at the event:
In general, flexible working policies provided a motivating force for employees. One attendee explained that a surprising number of employees in their company didn’t actually take up a flexible working option; but knowing it was available gave them reassurance, just in case they ever needed to take it.
Having a flexible working policy in place demonstrates to employees that their employer trusts and is willing to invest in individuals’ work-life blend. This, when communicated correctly, has the potential to be a powerful motivator for employees to perform well.
All roundtable attendees confirmed unanimous support for the positive impact that flexible working could have on employee mental health and wellbeing. Specifically, transparency around policy details and encouragement of their uptake by management were identified as being key to a successful implementation.
One attendee reported that the adoption of flexi-hours, at their business, had led to “productivity being through the roof.” Allowing employees to choose their own hours meant that the business could capitalise on when employees were at their most productive and, in this case, the business directly benefited from the surge in productivity.
Overall, every single attendee understood the merit of flexible working, and wanted to push for an increased number of employees working remotely in the future.
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