A lot of the conversations at the moment are about how disruptive working from home can be and the impact it’s having on staff wellbeing and mental health. However, when a global crisis isn’t taking place, implementing flexible working can be quite beneficial.
People Management Jobs explore how working flexibly can improve staff satisfaction and how you can implement it effectively once some form of normality returns.
Why is flexible working effective in improving staff satisfaction?
Flexible working is a broad term that covers a number of options an employer can implement. Whether that is offering employees the flexibility to work remotely or within extended working hours, the key theme of flexible working is that an employer is taking into account their staff’s work-life balance and other commitments.
For example, an employer might extend their office hours from the usual 9-5 to 8am - 6pm to cater for parents having to do the school run. Or they might offer remote working as an option to an employee who lives over 2 hours away from the office.
By taking into consideration the needs of your employees and giving them the autonomy to choose their working hours or locations, you instil a sense of trust and ensure your organisation is perceived as caring about its employees. In an age where this often tops the scale for what candidates are looking for in an employer, it’s incredibly important to consider these steps.
And they have been proven to work. Increased trust equals greater loyalty and satisfaction, which in turn helps retention. When an employee feels empowered by their organisation, they are more likely to stay.
Furthermore, feeling as though they are calling the shots on part of their working day will help employees feel more satisfied about their work. They are also in charge of their own work-life balance, and we know that where employees feel they are achieving a good balance, they will be more satisfied.
Offering flexible working opens doors to a happy, motivated and productive workforce of empowered individuals who are advocates for your business.
Why should you be considering a longer term flexible working arrangement?
Flexible working is not a new thing. Many organisations have been offering flexibility to their employees for years. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has thrown it into light more than ever before.
With the majority of staff working from home, it’s almost become impossible to ignore the fact that organisations can run successfully when their staff work remotely. Many businesses have also had to be more flexible on start and end times taking into account their employees other responsibilities such as childcare or juggling work schedules with their partner’s or house mates’.
Whilst you’d be right to say that this is a confusing and often chaotic time, it has shown that businesses can be flexible in this way to support their employees. And there will be a call for greater flexibility from employers as a knock on effect.
That’s why it’s important to prepare for the future and put a plan in place now to hit the ground running once employees are back in the office.
Here are three things you can do now:
- Review your current flexible working policies
- Get feedback from your employees on what they would like to see
- Adapt your policies to incorporate your employee feedback and still align with your company ethos
Taking these steps now will help you transition more effectively when lockdown is lifted and people return to work. You can even use the transition period as a trial for certain policies.
If you would like further advice and support or have any recruitment needs, People Management Jobs are on hand to answer any questions. Please contact us on 020 8267 8436 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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