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Flexible Working: Challenges versus Benefits

Many businesses are now considering offering flexible working, in some form, to their employees. There are many different forms of flexible working; compressed hours; part-time; job sharing etc.

Whatever form you choose there will be both challenges and benefits to your business and your employees.

Our simple guide below may help reduce your fears and ensure that the implementation of flexible working is as pain free as possible.

Challenges:

Cost effectiveness; costs for home technology could be incurred. Will you need to employ more staff to cover flexible working?; will this cost be off set against the reduced flexible salary? You need to consider these things as part of your HR Strategy.

Customer service; Service should not be hindered but may well improve it as you could conceivably provide a more all round service.

Communication and Accountability – For a manager it can be challenging to overcome the mindset that employees will not be as productive away from the office environment; research has shown that employees with a history of working productively will remain productive with a changed schedule, especially where they have requested a change in schedule to improve their working situation. Again the key to success here is communication and clearly setting out your expectations.

Benefits:

Offering flexitime can be a real incentive for job applicants and could influence their decision.

Flexible hours can reduce absenteeism; employees are more able to balance their personal responsibilities and work requirements making their life less stressful.

Improved customer service; varied working hours mean that you are more able to accommodate different time zones.

Increased employee engagement; trusting employees to manage their own workload can give a real sense of responsibility and trust.

Increased productivity; flexible working is proven to increase productivity. Due to better time management they are able to manage their personal life allowing them to concentrate on the business.

Flexible working may not be possible in all areas of your business however it is definitely something to consider as the benefits should outweigh the challenges of implementation. For more information or just some helpful advice please give us a call.

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