On 15th September 2017, it was Red Bull’s National 4pm Finish Day – an event that encourages employees everywhere to power through their to-do lists, and leave the office an hour early. Although the event allowed employees a glimpse of a better work-life balance, it was for one day only – and, of course, was only an option if your employer chose to participate. The question is, how could employees (and organisations) embrace this idea to create a better, more productive and more engaging place to work?
The business case for flexible working
The use of flexible working has been shown to have a significant impact on employee satisfaction in organisations throughout the country. In the CIPD’s 2016 report, Employee Outlook: Focus on Commuting and Flexible Working, 65% of flexible workers were shown to be satisfied or very satisfied with their work-life balance – compared to just 47% who don’t work flexibly. A quarter of respondents revealed that being able to work flexibly enables them to be more productive, whilst also allowing them to pursue further hobbies and interests outside of their working hours. Flexible working was also shown to play a key role in employee retention, with 28% stating that it had been a key factor in them staying with their current employer.
Another telling study was conducted last year – namely Vodafone’s Flexible: friend or foe? survey. The research surveyed employees across Germany, India, Italy, the Netherlands, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, the UK and the USA, alongside the territory of Hong Kong. All in all, 8,000 employers and employees were involved in the online study, which revealed a range of compelling results. A staggering 83% of the businesses that had adopted flexible working reported an improvement in productivity, whilst 61% reported increased profitability. 76% of businesses with flexible working arrangements in place had seen an increase in employee morale – and 65% of businesses were found to have more trust in their employees.
How to make flexible working work for you
Whether your organisation participated in National 4pm Finish Day (or not), why not make flexible working a permanent fixture in your professional life? The research we’ve outlined above is just the tip of the iceberg – there’s a whole host of information available online that makes a compelling case for businesses everywhere to embrace flexible working.
If you’re considering it, take a look at the acas advice to request flexible working. If you’re unsure of which arrangement would suit you, check out the Govt. description of the different types of flexible working. We also have a range of articles in our blog archive to help you get started today!