HR News & Articles

3 key benefits of offering flexible working to your staff

As an employer, it’s important to know about flexible working practices and what the implications are for your business. This article offers an overview of the things you need to know to ensure you’re complying with the law.

Requesting flexible working is a statutory right for any employee (not just parents or carers) who has worked for their employer continuously for over 26 weeks. The uptake for flexible working requests is on the rise as employers are seeing a noticeable improvement in performance and productivity when staff are given choices about when and for how long they work.

 

What is Flexible Working?

Flexible working is where an arrangement is made between the employee and employer that provides a degree of flexibility on how long, where, when and at what times an employee will work.

Examples of Flexible working practices include:

  • Part-time working
  • Term-time working
  • Job-sharing
  • Flexitime
  • Compressed hours
  • Annual hours
  • Working from home on a regular basis
  • Zero-hours contracts
  • Careers breaks
  • Study Leave

 

Top three benefits of offering employees flexible working

Employers and employees are seeing some key benefits to working flexibly:

  1. Flexible working enables a better work-life balance – many people use it to fit around family commitments or periods of study, for example.
  2. Working flexible hours can reduce the stress/pressure employees feel under, particularly if they have a demanding job.
  3. Offering flexible working can help with staff retention – supporting staff wellbeing in this way can increase the chances of employees staying with the company.

In addition, companies that offer flexible working as part of the employment contract tend to attract the best talent, as many highly skilled individuals seek greater flexibility in working hours when applying for new jobs.

 

Six things to consider when offering flexible working

There are a number of things employers need to consider with flexible working, especially if the employee is working away from the office.

  1. Provision of resources – computer, phone, internet access etc.
  2. Change of working style – time management, working unsupervised, keeping motivated.
  3. Trust – ensuring employees and employers are able to work without direct supervision.
  4. Health & Safety – is the working environment and equipment safe and fit for purpose?
  5. Contractual considerations – update employment contracts and company policies.
  6. Tracking goals – ensuring task-oriented goals or hours to be worked are agreed, tracked and met.

 

How we can help?

People Inc. has a wide range of functionality to help with managing flexible working practices. For example:

  • Each employee can be assigned a full or part time work pattern in their job history.
  • Absence Rules can calculate pro-rated holiday (and other) entitlements based on these work patterns.
  • Study Leave can be managed by setting up an absence rule and recording time spent on Study Leave.
  • Latest policies can be stored centrally in the HR documents area in People Inc. and employees can access these via the ESS so they can keep up-to-date.
  • Updated Contracts of Employment to reflect changes to working practices can be generated directly from People Inc. and automatically attached to an employee’s record.
  • Reports can be produced to analyse working patterns, headcounts and so on.
  • Homeworking can be recorded/managed via the Employee Self Service Time Sheet Module (see below).
Employee Self Service Timesheet module

Employee Self Service Timesheet module

 

In addition, People Inc. offers unparalleled flexibility due its built-in tools such as the People Inc. Screen Designer and System Administration modules, and the ongoing development program by the development team. A good example of this is where we were asked to look at configuring People Inc. to manage employees’ flexi-time.

People Inc. currently has a Timesheet module that allows employees to record the hours they work each day via Employee Self-Service. Completed timesheets are passed to the employee’s line manager for approval.

The team at AgathonHR are working closely with the developers of People Inc. to enhance the functionality of the Timesheet module so that the system will compare the hours recorded on the timesheet against an employee’s work pattern, and generate a flexi-time balance. Limitations can be assigned to the employee to avoid them accruing too many hours as flexi-time.

These are just a few of the ways in which AgathonHR can use People Inc. to manage your flexible working practices.

Contact us

Further information about People Inc. can be found on our website http://agathonhr.co.uk.
If you require any support with People Inc. HR or Employee Self Service, please call 01242 663974 or email support@agathonhr.co.uk.

 

 

Useful Links

Flexible Working (CIPD)

The right to request Flexible Working (ACAS)

Flexible working Overview (gov.uk)