Flexible working is a popular option in the workplace for both employees and employers in the modern workplace. It’s important you consider offering it to your staff, as it may suit their individual needs.
Promoting flexible working can have a range of benefits, such as an increase in employee morale and a reduction in staff turnover.
In this guide, we’ll discuss what flexible working is, the different types of flexibility you can offer, and the benefits it brings.
What does flexible working mean?
Flexible working arrangements are schedules that differ from the traditional working day or week. A change to an employee’s working hours may suit their needs, such as family requirements.
Do employers have to offer flexible work hours?
No, you aren’t legally required to offer flexible working to your employees. Alongside the benefits, there are challenges of flexible work arrangements:
- If working remotely, can lose out on in-office socializing and team bonding.
- No clear divide between home and work may cause a lack of work-life balance and employee burnout.
- Productivity may decrease for employees who can’t manage their time well
- Working relationships could weaken over time.
- Staff may take longer lunch breaks.
- Some staff could feel dissatisfied or unhappy if they’re not allowed flexible working.
What are different types of flexible working arrangements?
There are many flexible work conditions that can be discussed with your employees. Have a conversation to find the correct option for their needs:
- Flexible remote work or hybrid work: You can offer your employees a work- from from-home option for one or two days a week. This is beneficial if they have to attend regular medical appointments for themselves or a family member.
- Flex time: You can provide your employees with the option of moving their start or finish time. For example, if they need to take their child to school in the morning.
- Reduced hours: This can be offered to employees who are returning to work after a long medical or maternity leave.
- Gradual retirement: This allows employees to reduce their working hours and workload before retiring completely. Replacement employees can also be trained during this time.
What are the benefits of flexible working?
There are a range of flexible work arrangements benefits for both employers and employees.
- Boosts employee morale.
- Reduces employee absenteeism and staff turnover.
- Promotes the company as family-friendly, helping you attract and retain your best staff.
- Employees feel committed to you as you’ve taken into consideration their situation and needs.
How should employees ask for a flexible work arrangement?
You need to make it clear how your employees should ask for flexible working. This should be stated in your employee handbook. The flexible work arrangements policy should be signed off before employment commences.
By having a clear and concise policy, conflict is avoided further down the line.
What should be included in your flexible work arrangement policy?
Your flexible working policy will help you streamline the process. It also stops any confusion over in the future.
The policy should include the following:
- When regular meetings will be held to discuss progress and if any changes are needed.
- How to manage workload (more viable if working remotely).
- Who to request flexible working from.
- The impact on any benefits of employment. Leave benefits may be pro-rated if working remotely.
- How customer demands will be met (more viable if changing core working hours).
Get help with your flexible working today with BrightHR
Offering flexible working to your staff comes with a range of benefits. Make sure you’re aware of any potential challenges before switching to a flexible work arrangement.
If you need assistance with your flexible working management, BrightHR has a handy tool that will make the whole process easier for you.
Our Blip tool allows you to track when your staff clocks in and record any flexible work hours.