What is Flexible Working?
Flexible working is a change to the standard full time working hours, allowing you to work from home and alternate start/finish times to suit your lifestyle and needs. Leaving the office early, waking up late, working from the local Starbucks and even choosing what hours you want to work, flexible working hours is the chance to choose what suits you and benefits your work-life balance.
Types of Flexible Working
There are many different types of flexible working and it is important that you know the difference between them before deciding which one suits you better.
You choose when to start and finish work, but work through certain ‘core hours’ during the day. For example, from 8 am until 4 pm.
Work fewer hours during the week compared to your other colleagues. This is usually done by only working certain days of the week.
Work From Home
Instead of commuting to the office, do your work from your own home. This can be done full-time or just on certain days.
Work your usual full-time hours, but over fewer days during the work week.
Work a certain number of hours over the year, but have flexibility over when you do them.
Can I request flexible working hours?
You have a legal right to request flexible working hours if you;
- Have worked for your current employer for at least 26 weeks
- Haven’t made a work from home request in the past 12 months
- Are legally classed as an employee
If you meet the three requirements above, your employer MUST look at your request fairly and decide within 3 months.
Even if you don’t meet the three legal requirements, a lot of employers are willing to make flexible working arrangements.
Benefits of flexible working
Benefits for Employees
For employees, the list of benefits for remote working is endless. It gives staff members the chance to be able to alter their working hours to suit their needs.
Improved Work-life balance
Flexible working offers you the chance to be able to balance personal life commitments with work demands. Set working hours can restrict your personal life, but flexible working can allow you to work hours that suit you.
Less time commuting
Another huge benefit of flexible working is that you can spend less time commuting. Nobody likes waiting at the train station in the cold or being stuck in traffic on the motorway. The time you would usually spend commuting can be used to pick up the kids from school, go to the gym or even have an extra hour in bed.
Increased Job Satisfaction
Being able to manage your own time and having more ownership over projects can help to boost your confidence and become more satisfied with your job. Who doesn’t want a job where they have more control over their own working hours?
Benefits for Employers
For employers, being able to trust your employers and allow them to have more control can lead to huge benefits for your business.
One of the most important benefits is the improvement in employee retention. Offering flexible work to employees enhances employee loyalty to a company. This strengthens company culture, therefore creating a better working environment.
Sometimes employees can become very stressed in the office environment or become distracted by their colleagues around them. Flexible working allows them to work at a time that suits them, where they can be fully focused and ready to work.
Extended Working Hours
Introducing flexible working, allows your business to be open outside your usual working hours, meaning more satisfied clients and customers.
The increase in employee retention means less time recruiting and training new employees. Workers are now more likely to prioritise companies with flexible working over places that do not support it.
Disadvantages of Flexible Working
Disadvantages for Employees
Flexible working hours are a huge benefit to employees, but we must explore the potential negatives of adjusting your time spent in a working environment.
It may become hard for you to notice the difference between when you should be working and when you shouldn’t. This can mean that you don’t do enough hours and don’t produce the amount of work required, or you end up working more hours than you should be.
Although you are still part of the team, you may struggle to feel it when working from home or working fewer days a week when there is a lack of interaction with your colleagues.
Disadvantages for Employers
Although the pros outweigh the cons, there are always potential negatives to introducing flexible working arrangements into the business.
For some employers, there is always the thought that the level of productivity will drop when some employees are not in the office or being supervised. But trusting your employees should be a given.
Employers have to be fair to all members of staff when receiving flexible working requests. Failing to be fair can lead to unhappy employees and even staff making claims at the employment tribunal.
How to make a successful flexible working request?
If you want to make a successful flexible working application, you need to do these 3 things;
Reflect on why you want flexible working.
Think about why you want to work from home, whether it is for professional reasons or because of your family, be sure you know why you want to do it.
Create a plan
Make sure you have a plan for what you want from flexible working. Do you want to work fewer days? Be more flexible with your hours? More time off in the school holidays? Make sure you have a clear plan for your application.
Talk to your boss
Your request should be simple and straightforward, so just have a chat with your boss. Whatever the reason is for you wanting to work from home, you are doing it to benefit yourself. A good boss will be willing to help you out if it is possible.
Our latest Flexible Working Jobs
Check out the latest Flexible Working Jobs that we currently have within the IT Sector. We have genuine work from home jobs, opportunities for flexible working hours and many more roles that can suit your work-life balance.