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In September 2019, Tiger hosted a roundtable to discuss what flexible working looks like in today’s workplace. HR professionals in attendance agreed that having flexible working policies in place was key to attracting and recruiting staff, as well as successful employee retention. It was also agreed that businesses should try and think creatively when establishing their policies: a one-size-fits-all approach is unlikely to work. Wherever possible, flexible working terms should be negotiated with individual employees, as flexible working styles will depend on the person, their team, management and the company itself.
During the discussion, attendees outlined different forms of flexible working they had implemented at their represented companies:
Working from home
Perhaps unsurprisingly, working from home (WFH) was the most common flexible working type cited at the event, with all attendees (who represented companies with flexible working policies in place) allowing their employees to WFH. Across the board, it was agreed that employees who WFH should always be contactable during working hours, with regular communication with office-based employees central to its success.
Flexible working hours allow employees to change their core business hours, updating their start and finish times to best suit them. Additionally, it can also mean that business hours are extended. At the table, two of the HR representatives allowed their employees to flex their hours, but only if they were present in the office during core business hours, and worked a standard eight-hour day.
Job sharing, where two employees share one full-time role, is particularly popular among return-to-work parents, or those who want to work part time. For two of our attendees’ represented businesses, these arrangements developed organically and are working as a successful model for future hires.
A reduction in work hours is also an option for those wanting to work flexibly. At the roundtable, examples included employees’ shortening their lunch breaks to leave work earlier as well as employees compressing their standard working weeks into fewer days.
In addition to these examples, flexible working may also mean that employees need to demonstrate flexibility to benefit the team. If an employee is based in another time zone, for example, it could mean that they work to suit the head office’s hours, or agree to change their WFH day to cover another employee.
In every case, a successful flexible working arrangement should take an individualistic approach, with management and teams working together to recognise these options as legitimate ways of working. All attendees agreed that a mindset shift among management was key.
If you’d like to learn more about how to successfully implement flexible working in your workplace, you can request a copy of our roundtable report here.