How flexible are you?
On Monday 6th June 2022 various companies began a 6month pilot of a 4-day working week, which provides employees with 100% of their pay for 80% of their usual hours. The idea behind the pilot is to focus on employees working fewer but more productive hours.
The new approach looks at whether it is possible to maintain the same quality of work being produced by workers but at the same time cutting down on overall costs and improving staff wellbeing and engagement.
However, one of the key issues that needs to be considered by companies who may be considering a 4-day working week is whether it is a model that can be implemented within the organisation, whilst still ensuring that all business needs continue to be met across the full working week.
Another critical issue that can be easily overlooked is the impact on current part-time workers and ensuring that comparable measures are implemented for all employees so as to avoid unfavourable treatment to part-time workers.
One thing that many employers will be keeping their eye on is whether other forms of flexible working are more appropriate, or if they are having trouble in implementing flexible working, if a 4-day working week is a sensible alternative.
Is flexible working key to a successful workplace?
The Government have over the last year been looking at ways to make flexible working ‘part of the workplace DNA’, and, with the majority of millennials identifying flexibility as a top priority within the workplace it is certainly something that employers need to be considering seriously.
So, what are the key benefits?
- Productivity – there is evidence that people will work when, where and how they want a lot more productively and will very often be a lot more willing to go above and beyond.
- Say goodbye to 9-5 – the workplace is fast being taken over by technology and having the ability to work outside of the standard 9-5 will mean that companies are able to offer greater customer service via extended hours, as well as across different time zones if necessary.
- Recruitment – smaller companies can sometimes find it difficult competing with larger companies in their recruitment process and therefore offering flexible working can provide them with a competitive edge. Where they previously could not compete with other staff benefits of larger companies, flexibility is often easier to achieve in smaller businesses. In turn this can often mean that they can look at a larger pool of talent when recruiting.
- Wellbeing – flexible working is known to help improve staff wellbeing and staff retention.
Flexible is the future
I believe flexible working will soon become the norm, especially with the adaptation of home working during Covid. With most companies realising the benefits of flexible and hybrid working it is safe to say they will be watching the outcome of the pilot with interest.
I’d be really interest in knowing what your thoughts/experience is with flexible working? Has it worked well for you, or has it proved difficult to implement? Please leave a comment below or connect with me on LinkedIn here to let me know your thoughts.