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Flexible Working Arrangements: Why They Matter

flexible working arrangements
Most UK workers now have the right to request flexible working arrangements on day one of their employment.

Not only does the flexible working bill allow employees to request working from home options, but it also allows them to ask for alternative flexing working arrangements like hybrid working, job shares and compressed hours. 

That said, granting these requests is still at the employer's discretion. Recently, we've seen the tide turn against remote working as a standard practice in some companies. Getir - Europe's equivalent to Deliveroo or Uber Eats - has demanded that its staff return to the office full-time. 

But the company is now reportedly facing mass resignations - an excellent example of how employee and employer requirements are often at odds regarding flexible working.

Flexible working arrangements are not without limitations, but they can offer benefits for employers and employees. Let's explore some of them. 
 

Better employee motivation & productivity

Three-quarters of UK managers believe that flexible working improves employee productivity, while almost two-thirds believe that it boosts productivity, according to a recent survey.

This is backed up by anecdotal evidence - many of our candidates report feeling happier and in better control of their lives thanks to flexible working options. Most of our candidates would prefer to work in roles that offer hybrid or fully remote options. 

Some commentators suspect that the boost in productivity comes from a reduction in burnout. Flexible working arrangements give people more control over their schedules. And, as a Slack employee recently noted, "If employees can't meet their basic needs because their schedules are not flexible enough to allow them to do so, it's going to have a massive impact on their productivity."

Higher retention rates 

The positive impact of flexible working arrangements on employee retention rates has been common knowledge for some time. Back in 2012, the CIPD reported that 75% of employers believed flexible working positively affects retention. 

Today, the importance of flexible working for retention is even more pronounced. Half of UK workers say they would quit a job if they were no longer permitted to work flexibly.

At a time when recruitment is one of the key challenges for businesses across practically every UK sector, the possibility of losing key talent due to inflexible working policies is high - and likely not worth the risk.
 

Cost savings 

What is the point of paying a premium for offices that no one uses?

That is a question employers on both sides of the great working from home debate are asking - although their conclusions are entirely different. 

One of employers' biggest complaints about remote or hybrid working is the waste of rental money it incurs.

Proponents of office working believe the solution is to avoid waste by ensuring that their employees use the offices. 

Advocates of home working believe the answer is to cut office spending entirely by continuing with remote working policies indefinitely. 

Interestingly, Twitter, owned by Elon Musk, one of the most vocal advocates of office working, has just asked its Singapore employees to work from home following what appears to be a failure to pay office landlords on time. Musk, who famously only allows Tesla employees to work from home if they've already worked their weekly 40 hours in the office, is now closing several Twitter offices worldwide in a bid to cut costs. 
 

Final thoughts

There is a strong business case for implementing flexible working arrangements.

So, what do you think? Do the benefits of flexible working outweigh the drawbacks? And how is your company navigating the changes brought about by the flexible working bill? 
 

Next steps

Want to attract the best employees to your company? We know what workers want. Let's discuss how our rich pool of talented candidates can support your business requirements.

Get in touch with Eden Scott.

 

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