Here's what I know - Flexibility requires good balance

Peter Done: Managing Director and Founder

November 08 2018

Recently, we’ve seen an increase in employers asking about their options when it comes to flexible working. In particular, we’ve had many questions about the issue of a four-day working week, following a call by the TUC for businesses to consider this change. A four-day working week? The traditional five-day working week has been set in stone for most since the Industrial Revolution. But in recent years, we’ve seen massive changes to the established pattern of the working day with more flexible contracts, working from home, and a significant proportion of jobs that require different hours. As a business owner, you need to strike a balance. Could you still meet customer demand? Would squeezing five days’ work into four potentially have a detrimental rather than a positive effect on staff? Or could a four-day working week alleviate stress levels and improve job satisfaction? A promising trial It has been shown to work. Businesses are willing to consider whether a four-day working week is feasible. A New Zealand company, Perpetual Guardian, recently trialled a four-day working week for the same pay as a five-day week. Despite initial concerns, the managers found that employee productivity levels remained consistent throughout the trial period, and staff satisfaction and commitment increased. That said, it’s a tricky one for employers to get the balance right. There’s an increasing recognition that by listening to employees’ needs, you can get far more out of your staff and improve their well-being. However, you’ve got a business to run and that will demand a certain timetable and levels of productivity and accountability. Radically overhauling the entire working week is a big step. The reality is that it’s a long way off for most organisations. Could flexible working be the answer? Introducing more flexible working and ensuring the work can be completed in the time provided without adding extra stress for your employees, may be a more realistic option. More flexible working arrangements can, undeniably, bring a lot of benefits. A recent survey of British office workers found that: • 70% felt more productive working away from the office. • 38% said they were more creative outside of the office. • 90% said flexible working didn’t impact on their ability to collaborate with colleagues. But how could you keep on top of flexible working in your workplace? Why your business needs Blip BrightHR (a member of the Peninsula Group) developed Blip. It’s been a massive success and it could change the way you think about flexible working within your business. Blip helps manage your employees’ flexible working arrangements by tracking and recording your team’s working hours—a ‘clocking in and out’ system for the modern workplace. We’ve had some great feedback, and if you’d like more information, just follow this link or call a member of our team on 0800 028 2420 and we’d be delighted to talk you through it.

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