At Salt, a digital recruitment agency, we have noticed a significant shift and demand in job seekers wanting the option of flexible working when looking for a new role, and it can sometimes make the difference between them accepting or rejecting a job offer. In fact, 14.1 million of the UK population want flexible working, but don’t currently have it.
Flexible working does not work for all job roles and industries but sitting in an office from 9am – 5.30pm, is a way of working that doesn’t suit everyone. Especially in 2020, when as long as you have a laptop and WiFi, you can log on and work from anywhere in the world, still complete your daily responsibilities and stay connected to your teams. It can be argued if the work is getting done, why does it matter where someone is working from?
There are lots of benefits for flexible working, whether that’s in working time (part-time, flexitime), working location (working from home) or the pattern of working (job share), such as:
Higher Employee Retention
According to HR Magazine, it costs more than £5,000 to hire a new employee in the UK and that’s not taking into account onboarding, training, and generally settling in. With flexible working, the CIPD found that 76% of employers saw staff retention improve when they offered flexible working.
A funny misconception of flexible working, and in particular working from home, is that people are sat in their pyjamas, watching TV and not working when in fact 3 in 5 people who work flexibly put in more hours as a result of being allowed to do so!
It’s clear there is a huge demand for flexible working as mentioned previously, but a recent study by Timewise shows that only 6% of the companies they analysed actually offer flexible working, for those on a salary above £20,000.
The Timewise research, funded by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, said employers were failing to capitalise on changes to the way people work to get the skilled workers they need.
By simply adding flexible working to your company policies, it could potentially attract digital talent to want to work for you. If flexible working is something you offer, or plan to in the future, make sure it is clearly communicated to employees what flexible working at your company looks like (policies) and show it off to prospective employees on job descriptions.
There are also lots of benefits for the employee; flexible working can massively improve their well-being, work-life balance, and company loyalty. Nine out of 10 business owners and senior managers asked by workplace provider Regus, said that offering flexible working options is “a highly effective” way to improve staff morale.
The real problem isn’t where or what times your employees work, it’s disengaged employees. Your good employees working in the right job will work just as well, if not better, flexibly.