What do we mean when we talk about flexible working? Some of the terms I hear being bandied around are: Flexible hours, Teleworking, Remote working, reduced hours, compressed hours, annualised hours.
A dictionary definition of Flexible is: Able to be easily modified to respond to altered circumstances or conditions.
The world in which we work today has changed dramatically over the last decade and in order to attract and retain the best talent it is important for businesses to embrace flexibility.
I have read many articles which I have enjoyed recently because they show how the demand for and the acceptance of ‘flexible/part time” working and its benefits is becoming common practise in many organisations. There are obviously those that will be behind the curve.
Some of the key reasons why many believe Part time/Flexible working is on the up!
Technological advances – we no longer need to be at our desks 5 days a week from morning til night. We can allow our mobile devises to capture all the information we need to do our work. There are new integrated solutions such as VoIP which means that the cost and complexity of working from home is reducing.
Perfect Balance – Both men and women are looking for a more balanced life. They want to deliver against business objectives and also spend time with their family or follow other interests. Having this balance in our lives enables us to focus 100% when we are working on the job in hand thus increasing our output levels. We can also focus 100% on the other part of our lives without feeling guilty. This leaves a positive feeling about work and the business sees the productivity benefit.
Retaining key talent in the business – when times are tough it is often difficult to justify pay increases. Looking at reduced hours as an option enables companies to retain key people. Alternatively, when a business is looking to grow and can’t justify the cost of an experienced full time employee, looking at reduced hours enables them to attract a wider pool of experienced talented candidates.
Lee Sargent, the European Marketing Director of Pepsico recently commented in a Marketing Week article: Its about having an adult relationship with your staff, which means trusting them and giving them more control over how they deliver what you want them to do.
Some of the benefits being realised in full by those businesses who are on board with flexible working and its value in the world of work today include:
- Increased Morale
- Job Satisfaction
- Retention levels
Pepsico quoted improvements in productivity of 20% in that article.
I would be interested in hearing your views and experiences regarding flexible/part time work. Please comment on our facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/TalentGateway.net, follow us on Twitter , leave a comment below or email me directly.