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Key benefits of offering flexible working to your staff

According to the Office of National Statistics (ONS) there were an estimated 32.60 million people in work between October and December 2018. This was 167,000 more than for July to September 2018 and 444,000 more than for a year earlier. In fact the employment rate of 75.8% was the joint highest during this period since comparable estimates began in 1971.

With this in mind, Employees are having to do more to attract and retain employees and this is not always just down to pay.

Flexible working is becoming more important to employees as it helps them maintain a better work/life balance (enabling them to fit around family commitments or periods of study and helps reduce stress and pressure in the work place.

Employers offering Flexible working practices 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 often to the mutual benefit of the employee and employer.

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

 

Benefits of Flexible Working

Attraction of talent

The demand for working flexibly is far higher than jobs offering flexibility. Not offering flexible working may be turning away potential applicants, especially in roles where there is a skills shortage.

Improved job satisfaction and loyalty

Staff are more likely to stay loyal to their employer and put in extra effort if they are offered flexible working. Flexible workers are more likely to be engaged and committed to their employers and would be more inclined to recommend the business to others.

Reduction in Absenteeism

Flexible working not only helps Parents and Carers who typically are less troubled by stress related illness when given the option of Flexible Working but can generally reduce absence rates as employees don’t feel the need for taking ‘sickie’s if they are allowed to work flexibly.

Employee retention.

Keeping hold of employees has never been more important and finding ways of retaining staff has become more challenging than simply offering higher salaries. Flexible Working Practices is a key reason for staff at all career stages being satisfied with their employer and are more likely to stay longer.

Productivity

Flexible working practices are more likely to increase individual performance that receiving a bonus according to many employees and managers with as many as 9 out of 10 employees consider flexible working to be a key motivating factor to their productivity at work, more so than financial rewards.

 

Considerations 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

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)