Pros and cons of flexible working for the employer
What is flexible working?
Flexible working allows employees to work to a schedule that suits their needs, which includes flexible hours and working from home. The extra freedom that comes with flexible working has made it extremely popular in the last few years. People want to have a good balance between their home life and their work life, and flexible working is perfect for this.
During COVID, when a lot of people worked from home, companies realised that they could introduce hybrid working full time and still maintain a good work output. About 40% of job hunters actually place flexible working as a top factor when choosing a new job. Businesses offer this flexibility to keep up with their competitors, to avoid missing out on the ideal job candidates, and most of all – to keep their staff happy and productive.
Why you should introduce flexible working
There are plenty of pros to adding flexible working to your company’s list of benefits, and these don’t just apply to your employees. Increase productivity and decrease stress levels by providing your staff with a well-needed work-life balance. Listen to your staff’s requests and you are sure to get some positive results. Remember that while flexibility is good, don’t force your employees into working from home or from the office; let them pick what’s best for them.
Pros of flexible working
As an employer, you want your staff to be as productive as possible, but this shouldn’t come at the cost of their mental health or to the detriment of their home life.
Promoting a healthy work-life balance is a sure-fire way to increase productivity and motivation in your staff. If they know that you’re looking out for them they are likely to approach work with a positive attitude. This, in turn, will benefit your business as more work gets done. Promoting a healthy work-life balance in your staff may be difficult at first, especially if they’re used to putting work above everything else. Make sure they know how flexible working operates and how they can benefit from it. It might be beneficial to offer some sessions to ease into this transition.
Some people find working from the comfort of their own home boosts productivity levels. They can get a lot more done without the added social pressures of an office environment, and without risk of distraction. A balance between in the office and working from home can give your staff the best of both worlds. Introducing a hybrid scheme keeps your staff interacting as a team whilst also giving them that well-needed flexibility. All in all, productivity will be higher than ever.
Reduced commuting time
Travelling to and from work eats a big part out of everyone’s day.. Unless your staff live round the corner from your office, they understand the struggle of a daily commute. Allowing employees to work from home – whether it’s full or part time – gives staff more free time in the day, more time to focus on work rather than how to get from A to B, and saves them money, too.
Not everyone works best in a standard nine to five timeslot, and that’s why flexible working is so great. Your staff can pick the times that work best for them, and as long as they work the amount of hours they’re contracted, it doesn’t matter if their day starts at 6am or at 12pm – the work still gets completed.
Attract top talent
Offering a hybrid scheme, or complete remote working is a great way to entice potential talent who may have previously been too far afield. One of the main perks that people look for when starting a new job is flexible working, so you’re more likely to rank at the top of their list.
Reduce office space
Allowing the majority of your staff to work from home when they choose means you can reduce your office space. This not only lowers costs but it is also way more sustainable. Introducing a hot desking system is another great way to free up space when looking to introduce flexible working.
Cons of flexible working
There might be a lot of pros to introducing flexible working, but as with most things, there can be some downsides to consider.
Working from home, even if for just a few days of the working week, can contribute to social isolation. A lot of people benefit from face-to-face contact, and your staff’s mental health may suffer without it. This may lead to them being unable to complete their work, or feeling demotivated.
Missing out on team activities
An issue with working from home, and remote working in general, is the lack of team activities. This may be a case of your staff missing out on brainstorming sessions or teambuilding opportunities. Unfortunately this could lead to dips in creativity and social connections between team members.
One of the main reasons companies are dubious about offering flexible working is the lack of trust they have in their employees. If you trust your staff to do their job regardless of where they are, then this isn’t an issue. Otherwise, it might be worth thinking of ways to keep tabs on the work they’re producing, this may be through daily or weekly catch ups.
There can be lots of distractions at home, which might lead to procrastination and decreased productivity. Some staff may also just not work as well at home, so giving your staff the option to choose whether they want to work flexibly is always important for both them and you.
Unused office space
A downside to flexible working is that you might be paying out a lot for an office space that your staff hardly use. If you’re tied into a long contract for an office space, it might be best to start thinking about flexible working when your contract is coming to an end.
Not for everyone
Flexible working isn’t for everyone. It might not be for your staff and it might not be for you. So, deciding whether you think it can be implemented should be a joint decision. Check in to see how you can provide additional support, and move forwards from there.
If you’re considering catering for the modern worker then providing the right equipment for your home workers is key. Whether you want to provide office chairs and office desks to get them all set up, we can help. Why not get in touch today and see how you can kit out your home workers.