New workplace policies and improvements in technology are opening up opportunities for flexible working. Communicating with clients across the world has never been as easy as it is today. Small businesses and employees, alike, are recognizing the advantages of flexible working options.
Flexible Working Benefits Small Businesses
Flexible working is not only beneficial to large organizations, it also beneficial to small businesses. More and more small business in the UK are realizing the importance of flexible working to increase staff growth and employee motivation.
Flexible working also increases overall productivity of employees. Accessibility and quick response, being two of the biggest benefits that flexible working has to offer.
What are the different types of flexible working?
- Part-time working: Employment that carries fewer hours per week than a full-time job; commonly working fewer than 30 or 35 hours per week.
- Job sharing: Two people are retained on a part-time or reduced-time basis to perform a job normally fulfilled by one person working full-time.
- Term time employment: A job contract, either permanent or fixed, full-time or part-time that covers the period when national schools are open.
- Flextime working: A variable work schedule with a core period of the day, when employees are expected to be at work while the rest of the working day is “flextime” where employees can choose when they work, subject to achieving total daily, weekly or monthly hours.
- Annual hours contract: A full-time employee’s contracted total hours each year excluding holiday and vacation time.
- Work from home: Employees allowed to complete some or all of the work from home or anywhere else other than the normal place of work.
- Compressed working hours: Employees encouraged to work full-time hours, but over fewer days.
- Career break: An opportunity for employees to work on a career change without having the feeling of having to return to their old job after a few months. Often used interchangeably with the term “sabbatical”.
Today, many small businesses seem to offer job sharing, part-time jobs, and work from home opportunities on a regular basis.
Why are small firms turning to flexible working?
In situations where the flexible working system has been sucessful, many demands have been met including;
- Individual needs
- Organizational needs
- Customer needs
What are the top benefits of flexible working?
- Recruitment: Flexible working helps in recruiting and retaining worthy people who may or may not otherwise work for the organization.
- Engagement: Since employees are happy, content and satisfied on receiving a good opportunity to help them keep a logical balance between office and personal life, they respect the idea of flexible timing and exhibit higher levels of engagement.
- Reduced stress: Most of the jobs that are being performed today are highly stressful. Flexible timing makes the job less stressful, while helping the employees (particularly the ones with family or children).
- Reduction of absenteeism: Flexible timings open up scopes for reduction in absenteeism, and help employees complete their work on time.
- Builds reputation: Flexible timings are enjoyed by the employees that see value in the system. This feeling helps in building trust and a good reputation with the employer.
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