The best business advice, opinion, news and expertise in Greater Manchester and further afield.

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Member Blog: Five Big Benefits of Flexible Working

By Nigel Girling - Director, The Babington Group
Flexible working has made the headlines in recent years, after huge corporations like Virgin and Netflix set the trend with radically pliable holiday policies.

The UK Government has recently demonstrated support for such policies, making it a legal requirement for employers to listen to requests for flexible arrangements, and to offer clear explanations for refusals.

If flexible working isn’t something you have considered before, here are five advantages of introducing it to your workplace.

1. Engaging staff
Do you ever suspect your employees are tired of the same old routine, or don’t feel they have your complete trust?

This is the case in many workplaces, and you can increase morale by offering something more flexible.

Offering staff more control over their working hours, where they work, and how they work, is a great way of keeping things fresh, and of demonstrating your faith in the people you employ.

2. Retaining staff
As finding new professional opportunities becomes easier with the use of online resources, many companies are seeing their staff turnover increase rapidly.

It’s time to offer your employees a new reason to stay, by giving them a level of flexibility they won’t find easily elsewhere.

As well as demonstrating confidence in your employees, flexible arrangements allows those with other commitments to work around them. For example, new parents may return to work more quickly if they know they can fit their role around childcare.

3. Attracting new talent
Job hunters are looking for increasingly enticing offers. Compete with other employers by offering something different, in the form of a high degree of flexibility.

Free lunches and long holidays just don’t cut it anymore. When looking for long term opportunities, prospective employees value freedom and trust.

4. Reducing costs
Have you thought about the money you could save by offering flexible working patterns? Having employees working from home means you would require less office space, use less electricity, and need less office equipment.

5. New opportunities
An advantage to flexible working that is often missed is the new business opportunities it could create.

Operating from nine to five can limit your options. If you work with clients in different locations, at different times, you could take advantage of having staff willing to work around these circumstances.

While many employers still see the concept of flexible working as a threat to their business, just the right degree of flexibility could have huge benefits on staff acquisition and retention, as well as the reach of your business as a whole.

Knowing how much flexibility to offer is part of being a great business leader. To find out more about developing your leadership and management skills, get in touch here, or give us a call on 01332 613688.

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