Leadership For The Future


Some myths about Flexible Working

The flexible working arrangements regulations have been in place since 2014, yet a recent report, Megatrends, published by the Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development (CIPD) in January 2019 shows that the take up of flexible working has flat-lined – the number of full-time employees taking up a flexible arrangement between 2010 and 2017 has remained 27%. However, the number of arrangements has increased from 23% since 2005 and it is worth noting that the numbers of part-time roles has increased from 4%(1950s) to 26% in 2018.

Any organisational culture in a company or business needs to show that flexible working adds value. We tend to think of flexible working as ‘working from home’. However flexible working also includes working patterns such as compressed hours, a nine-day fortnight, working from another location and better use of technology to promote collaboration such as teleconferencing and secure shared on-line documents. Some larger international companies have allowed different business units to design their own flexible working policies that work for them. Why have a one-size fits all when across the globe countries and cultures have very different needs around work / life balance?

Many employers are still suspicious that if they cannot see an employee in the office at their desk they are not fully working. It’s good to think about introducing the subject of flexible working at regular one-to one meetings with employees to see if a flexible working arrangement would improve productivity and efficiency. This shows that you trust the individual to give their best and shows you are interested in making their working pattern the best it can be.

One challenge facing employers is whether to have a formal flexible working arrangement process or an informal one. Having a formal process can feel a bit patronising, particularly making them fill in an application form. On the other hand, you want to have a consistent approach and make sure all employees are not being treated differently.

So what next? If you believe your organisation could benefit from flexible working arrangements why not give Hafton a call or email them at info@haftonconsultancy.com.