Worried flexible hours might encourage your staff to slack off? It’s time for a rethink, according to a scheduling expert.
Andrew Ferguson, CEO of workforce management provider Softworks, spoke to HRD on why flexibility isn’t just a nice-to-have: it can even improve your company’s reputation, and entice hard workers to stay.
Why is shifting to flexible work a clever move?
Flexibility in working arrangements is very important as it brings many benefits to an employee’s life including a better work life balance, greater job satisfaction and increased energy, creativity and morale.
What does flexibility mean for an employee, work-life balance wise?
Flexible working gives employees greater ownership and control over their working hours, enabling them to manage their responsibilities outside of work. This in turn can reduce stress and anxiety for employees, who are struggling to balance their busy lives.
What does it mean for a business’ reputation, including attracting and retaining staff?
By offering flexible working arrangements, a business can boost its reputation in a number of ways. Flexible working enhances recruitment and retention of employees, Increases staff motivation by providing a greater sense of control, and by increasing employee satisfaction and morale. Flexibility in working arrangements can also reflect on a company’s reputation by allowing for better customer service provision due to extended hours and by projecting a positive public image of a great company culture.
Many companies still have rigid hours and days of work – do you think they’ll get left behind?
In order to remain competitive and to respond to sudden changes in demand, adapt to new technologies and be in a position to constantly adapt and innovate, companies need to become more flexible. At the heart of any company is it’s employees, and in order to attract and retain the top talent, businesses need to be able to respond to these employees demands for flexible working hours. Attitudes to the standard 9-5 working day are shifting rapidly and if companies want to keep up with their competition they must adapt to these attitudes.
Employers might be concerned about staff slacking on company time – what’s your response?
For employers who are worried about their employee’s taking advantage of their flexible working arrangements, this concern is easily assuaged with the use of automated attendance management. However, typically speaking companies who have created an environment of flexible working for their employees have found that the increased levels of satisfaction and motivation have a thoroughly positive effect and reduce negative employee behaviour.
If an organization wants to move to flexible work, what does the HR department need to do? What works best?
If you are introducing a flexible working strategy you should make sure that it is given the time and thought that would be given to the introduction of any new strategy into the organisation. It is key that you identify what exact form of flexible working your employees are interested in and what would benefit your organization. It be might also be worthwhile appointing a project coordinator. It is a fundamental principle of flexible working that the needs of the business are met as well as the needs of the employee.
Does work-life balance matter more than pay?
Is a lack of trust crippling your company?