We understand that working from home may not be an ideal or even viable option for every person within your business, but for some businesses flexible working could be an excellent option that offers real benefits to both the employer and employee. We believe that flexible is not just a trend and it is definitely here to stay so in this blog post we look at the pros and cons of flexible working, for employers and employees.

Pros of Flexible Working for Employees

When employees are given the chance of flexible working it means they are able to meet the needs of their family as well as life responsibilities such as parents evenings, doctors appointments or even to be at home for delivery of a washing machine or arrival of the plumber. Flexible working also means that employees can save on time and fuel costs while travelling to and from work as they can arrive before or after rush hour and avoid rush hour when leaving work too, which means happier employees as they haven’t spent ages in standstill traffic.

Flexible working for employees also means that employees feel that they have a sense of control over their schedules and work environments, this is the main reason people leave a job to work for themselves, but if an employee is getting that at work they will have fewer reasons to leave your business. Employees also feel that it is okay to step away from work when they feel they are overworked or going to burnout and they will be able to work at times when they feel freshest and most motivated.

Flexible working can also help reduce childcare costs for your employees that have children as they can do the school drop off or pick up and therefore reduce the amount of time that childcare is required, meaning they save money and get more quality family time.

Pros of Flexible Working for Employers

Offering your employees flexible working hours will result in increased employee morale and a reduction in days off and absenteeism as a whole as your employees will be able to work around urgent appointments and personal meetings. Another benefit of flexible working hours for the employer is that you will be more attractive to potential candidates, creating an easier recruitment process and you will be have a reduced level of staff turnover too, enabling you to retain the talent in your business.

Not only will you be developing an image as an employer that cares about your employees but you will also be able to offer your customers extended hours of operation as employees will start earlier or finish later than the standard 9-5pm working day.

Cons of Flexible Working for Employees

Those employees that thrive in a busy working environment may struggle working with colleagues who do not cover the same hours as them, flexible working also runs the risk that employees work all the time because you may allow your employees to go to a parents evening at their child’s school but then expect them to make up the time over a weekend which means employees won’t get a day off.

If you allow employees to work from home, friends and neighbours may not understand that they are still working and therefore think it is okay to pop round for a coffee or go out for lunch. This can result in your employee struggling to keep focused or risk their relationships with friends and neighbours being ruined as they expect your employee to look after their kids or collect a delivery for them, because your employee is at home all day after all!

Cons of Flexible Working for Employers

If you have a team orientated department in your business then guidelines need to be in place for regular team meetings to make sure everyone is there. It is also important that you put guidelines in place to avoid employees sitting at home watching TV while staying logged into their emails so it looks like they are working.

Another disadvantage for employers bringing flexible working into their business is that the department managers may be used to seeing staff arrive and leave and know what they are doing at all time, therefore your managers will need to manage differently with a greater level of trust in their employees, this will take different skills and time to embed.

As an employer you also need to be aware of what your customer expects, if your employee works directly with customers working flexible hours may mean not the straight 9 to 5 they have been used to and so you need to manage their expectations. Many customers will be understanding with any changes as long as they are aware ahead of any impact on the service they receive.

If you need help bringing flexible working into your business then give me a call, I would be only too happy to help you out with this change for your business to make sure you and your employees get the best from flexible working.