As the lives and lifestyles of employees become more complex, it can be hugely beneficial for businesses to provide those employees with more options for the ways that they work. That’s why flexible working is becoming very popular among companies across the UK. But there are many different ways that your business can offer flexible working. Here are four ideas that might be perfect for your business.
There can be no denying that working from home presents a list of advantages for both companies and employees. Many businesses understand this, and that’s why it is predicted that more than half of the UK’s workface will be working remotely by 2020. Of course, remote working isn’t right for every organization, nor every individual, so it is worth taking some time to think about whether it is suited to you.
Home working can be a useful way to reduce the amount of working space that a company needs. If your business is struggling to fit staff into its office, allowing staff to work from home can be a great way to reduce the need for space at work. For many types of work it is simple to work from home too, as employees simply require a computer to get on with their job.
Of course for other jobs working remotely isn’t possible for obvious reasons – you can’t work remotely as a chef, for example. But there are other reasons that can make the prospect of remote working unattractive for some companies. This is especially true if it is difficult to measure productivity, as clearly it is important for staff to be as productive at home as they are at the workplace, and there are naturally far more distractions at home than at work.
To some people, working hours have always been 9 to 5 and they can’t imagine their business running at any other time. Working in a standard business environment can be a great way to be productive for some people, but it does not necessarily suit everyone’s lifestyle. This is why there has been a growth in popularity of flexi-time – where workers choose to do their own work in hours that suit them.
Instead of having an office open from 9am to 5pm, it could be helpful to extend those hours to 7am to 8pm and then allowing staff to work their hours at whichever times suit them best. This could allow those early risers to get in at 7am and spending their most productive hours at work. It can also benefit commuters who can avoid traveling at the most difficult times of day. Ultimately this can make a big difference both to the morale in the team and productivity of the staff.
Of course if this is going to be allowed then you will need to ensure that all time is tracked effectively and that staff are logging the correct amount of hours for their weekly work. There are applications that can manage this for you, such as the punch clock available at time management and staff rota software specialist Planday.
Have you considered the option of job sharing? This can be a very beneficial way for companies to utilize the experience knowledge of specialist workers without the expense of employing both full-time. It can also be extremely beneficial to those individual employees who have the experience and knowledge but can’t commit to the job full-time hours.
Of course job sharing can only work in organizations where there is excellent interpersonal communication between staff. With two people sharing a role, they also share the responsibilities. If the situation is not managed properly you can end up in a situation
On the surface, ‘unlimited holiday’ might sound less like a flexible working policy and more like an unrealistic dream for workers. But many companies are making the concept work. Of course the policy does not necessarily mean that workers are free to take indefinite time off and still expect to get paid. It simply works on the basis that you take the holiday that you need, rather than planning your time off around a fixed number of days.
So whether you need time off for a doctor’s appointment, a week’s holiday to go abroad or simply a morning off to get some DIY done at home, you simply book the time you need without worrying about allowances.
Once again this is a system that will only work for some companies – for example, it might not be right for your business if there is no easy way to measure productivity or you rely on having a certain number of staff available at all times.