Workplace flexibility includes a wide range of concepts which can indicate how agreeable an employee or a company is to alterations to the norm. It allows for both employers and employees to reach agreements on arrangements which suit both. Being flexible or agreeing to flexible working can be beneficial to both parties, as it allow employees to reach a balance between their work and personal life, and it allow employers to improve their staff performance and business efficiency and staff loyalty.

Flexibility is often shown through shift patterns or flexible working requests. Shift patterns can work well for businesses whose staffing requirements change. An alternating shift pattern will enable you to always request that the right amount of workers come into work. It allows you to have more staff during a later or earlier shift depending on the nature of the business. This works well for employees, too, as it removes the risk of being understaffed or overstaffed, and helps the business if a shift needs covering if another employee is sick.

Flexible working requests allow employees to balance their work and their responsibilities outside of it. A flexible working request can involve changes to the number of contractual hours, working times and place of work. Some employees may make a request under all three variables, while others may only want to change one or two. Working from home has become more desirable to both employers and employees. The benefits include a wider choice when hiring, ability to recruit people from any area of the county or people with caring responsibilities, improved productivity due to less distractions, and greater job satisfaction.

All employees are entitled to annual leave which should be taken within the year it is accrued. However, they are not entitled to take it at any time they wish. Employees must reach an agreement with their employer regarding days which they can have away from work on annual leave. Employees may request to take all of their leave in one continuous block, but an employer does not have to approve the request, unless the employee will not be able to take their leave at any other time before the year is over and they start accruing leave for the next period. Completing a sabbatical can have advantages for both the employee and employer, but they both have to show a great level of flexibility – during a sabbatical an employee studies or travels away from their usual place of work/residence, whereas an employer has to arrange for the employee’s duties to be covered by other staff.

Some businesses require a much greater flexibility from employees and employers, but that flexibility ensures that work-life balance remains in check and the employment relationship prospers.