How flexible working options can help businesses attract top quality candidates.

A significant increase in living costs means that for the vast majority of families, both parents have to be in paid employment. Combined with the fact that advances in technology has created an ‘always on’ culture, it’s not surprising that only a third of British workers say they’re happy with their current work/life balance.

Sadly, this has had a negative impact on the mental health of millions of employees in the UK. In a bid to rectify this, more and more of us are seeking roles which allow flexible working. 22% of UK workers have in fact quit their job in the pursuit of greater flexibility.

This is the equivalent of seven million employees which highlights why employers need to embrace flexible working if they want to attract and retain great talent.

What are the different types of flexible working?

There are a number of ways you can offer flexible working to your employees:

  • Part-time or reduced hours
  • Job sharing (one role is shared between two or more part-time employees)
  • Working from home (all or part of the time)
  • Mobile working (if you have different offices, allowing employees to work from the one that’s closest to them)
  • Condensed/compressed hours (someone may to prefer to work longer hours over four days so they can have one day off a week)
  • Allowing them to take unpaid leave during school holidays
  • Flexi-time (allowing employees to choose their working hours within agreed certain limits. Some people prefer to work 8-4, some 9-5 and others 10-6)

What are the benefits of flexible working?

Employers are often afraid to embrace flexible working because it does involve a lot of trust. Numerous studies show that there are actually a number of benefits to this style of working for both the employer and their staff.

The benefits to employees

  • Better work/life balance
  • They can juggle personal and family commitments with work
  • Increases productivity because they feel trusted and valued by their employer
  • Being able to work in different locations can help improve creativity
  • No commute means less stress
  • Some of us are early birds, some of us are night owls. Flexible working allows us to work at the times we feel most productive

The benefits to employers

  • Boosts morale
  • Reduces tardiness and absenteeism
  • Happier employees typically equal reduced staff turnover
  • People put in better quality hours. If someone rushes into the office late because they got stuck in traffic, they’ve started their day stressed and panicked which can have a knock-on effect for the rest of the day. When employers work remotely or can choose their hours to avoid rush hour, they’re in a much better frame of mind and are therefore far more likely to produce higher quality work
  • The fewer employees you have commuting into the office and sitting at a desk, the lower your business’s carbon footprint is. It can also help to reduce the running costs of your business
  • Enhances your company image as a family-friendly place to work

If you would like help attracting great employees to your company, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with Alpha and we’ll be more than happy to help.