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Three facts about why flexible working is good for business

On22/ 08 /19

Gone are the days when office-based careers meant a 9am to 5pm stint at your workplace.

Our digitally-connected world is operation 24/7, and as a result, the prevalence of flexible working has been on the rise. There’s also an ever-increasing focus on employers to provide their employees with a good work/life balance so that the demands of family life, part-time study or other lifestyle or care commitments can be managed.

As it turns out though, only 27% of UK employers offer flexible working arrangements in practice - and only 10% of job vacancy ads in the UK actually mention ‘flexible working’.

So could it be that more work needs to be done to raise awareness of the benefits that flexible working can bring to an organisation? That’s where this blog comes in… 

Even if your organisation already has a well-established flexible working policy in place, you might not be privvy to the following facts regarding why it’s the way forward when it comes to the success and efficiency levels of your business - as well as your workforce…

Fact #1 - It’s a ‘pull’ factor when it comes to recruiting new talent

Research from just last year revealed that 75% of employees in the UK would be more likely to consider a job that provided flexible working (up from 70% in 2017), whilst almost a third of the UK workforce would prefer greater flexibility at work to a payrise.  

The fact is that today’s professional is looking for the kind of work/life balance where personal time and work time go hand-in-hand with each other. 

Fact #2 - It can heavily contribute to helping you retain your female employees

When the Government’s Equality Office interviewed multiple HR professionals as part of their research for their Flexible Working Qualitative Analysis paper (published in March 2019), it became clear that flexible working requests received internally were predominantly from women. In fact, in some cases, the HR professionals interviewed had never received a request from a man regarding flexible working.

Where some businesses may show reluctance to offer true flexible working options to their workforce, it’s often the female employee who is worst-impacted of the two genders, and has to quit and move on (or not return from maternity leave) in order to try and find that sought-after work/life balance somewhere else. 

This means that all the money and investment spent on hiring and training that female professional - who might actually be one of your organisation’s ‘star players’ is lost when they leave.

Fact #3 - It can save your business (as well as the UK economy) money

The odd sick day here and there - no harm done? But did you know that the equivalent of £77 billion of productivity time is lost each year due to employees being unwell and off work?

Data collected by Canada Life Group Insurance found that 77% of employees in the UK felt flexible working aided productivity. And what’s more, other studies conducted recently indicate that companies who actively encourage a work/life balance and make a concerted effort to look after their staff’s welfare see lower rates of sickness and benefit from a more engaged workforce.

Both of these things mean that productivity - and the overall success of the company, increases.

On top of this, businesses who choose to take an open-minded approach to flexible working might find themselves (depending on the circumstances of the business of course) making a cost saving when it comes to office space/rates too...

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