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Is Your Business Ready for Flexible Working Hours?

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If, like many businesses, you’re struggling with the challenge of recruiting and retaining skilled employees, you may want to consider offering an incentive such as flexible working. Recent studies show that flexible hours rank highly in terms of an employee’s priorities and it’s a great incentive to offer staff as part of a benefits package.

There are many reasons why flexible working is so highly valued by employees, from striking a better work-life balance to allowing couples to split parenting tasks more evenly. Flexible working can also positively impact the services a company can provide, such as allowing customer-facing departments to operate over longer periods. But is your business ready to provide such a benefit to staff and what should you consider before adding this as an option for your company? Here are some areas to consider and the types of flexible working you could offer.

What to Consider

Before you offer flexible working to your staff, think about how it will impact the business. For example, if you have a retail store or a customer-facing business, think about the core hours which need to be covered and how flexible working with your current team would work. Alternatively, if your business is office-based and utilises technology, options such as remote working could be effective but would mean a change in communication processes to ensure that everyone stays on track. You will also need to make changes to contracts and there may be legal compliance issues that your HR team will need to confirm. Human resources systems can make it easier to keep track of new contract amends and any documents related to the implementation of flexible working for existing and new staff.

Different Types of Flexible Working Patterns

If your business is considering adding flexible working to its list of staff benefits, there are a few different options you can try to best suit the type of business you’re running. Part-time working is the most common option that strays from the standard 9-5 pattern. It can also bring in some really skilled employees who can offer fantastic results over a three or four-day week but who are looking for a more flexible work pattern. Flexi-time contracts are also popular – these mean that core hours are covered, which is usually the equivalent of 50% of a working day, and then staff can choose when they make up the remaining hours.

If your business doesn’t require staff to be on-site, remote working or allowing staff to work from home can be a great incentive. This could also allow staff to commit to more hours, such as working full-time instead of part-time if they were office-based. Compressed hours enable staff to condense their hours into fewer days, so working four days instead of five, for example. Finally, job shares are an increasingly popular option that means staff can split the role of one person between two people that means the post is covered at all times while allowing two members of staff to work flexibly.

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