Flexible Working: The Key to a Good Work/Life Balance?
Flexible working is a relatively new approach to corporate life, which is currently being embraced by more and more employers. Millennials pretty much expect the option as a perk of any job, and working parents are also requesting flexible working so they don’t miss out on crucial parts of their children’s lives, such as school concerts and assemblies.
But what is so great about flexible working, and is it possible in all working environments? It’s been hailed as the secret to a good work/life balance, and happier employees tend to be more productive and stay in their roles for longer. Here are some facts about flexible working to see if it could work for your business.
It can improve health
When a company introduces flexible working, it means employees are only judged on results, rather than time keeping and having to follow certain rules in the office. A Results Only Working Environment provides a culture of trust and empowerment so employees can provide the results from any location.
In a study conducted by the University of Minnesota, employees taking part in such a program were compared to other workers who were working the traditional way. The findings shown that the employees within the ROWE group had more sleep on work nights, exercised more and were less likely to go to work when ill. Remote working is a proven way to improve wellbeing and staff contentment.
It’s Endorsed by Richard Branson
The Founder of global multinational business Virgin is one of the biggest advocates of flexible and remote working. Branson believes that treating staff right is the first key to a successful business, and flexible working is a well received benefit. Whether it’s working from home or any other location, many job roles at Virgin are entitled to flexible working – and the high flying entrepreneur is also big on staff taking holidays and sabbaticals.
Staff say it reduces stress
Various surveys have been conducted about flexible working, but this one conducted by Regus confirms that workers will be less stressed and therefore better at their job on flexible terms. In a survey of 400 businesses, 69% of employees said that flexible working was critical in reducing work-related stress. That means seven in ten workers would welcome flexibility in their jobs, which would reduce stress and absenteeism.
Flexible working isn’t viable for some careers, where you have to be present at all times – such as customer service advisors or teachers in schools. However for many office based roles, introducing flexibility can transform the business and help you attract and retain talent.