Flexible working is a valuable tool to accommodate workplace equality and create an inclusive culture. Not only that, but it can make for a happier and more committed workforce. It can help parents return to work, reduce the gender pay gap, support employees with health conditions and aid those who need to balance their work with caring responsibilities.
What is flexible working?
Flexible working is agreed working arrangements which vary from the norm to accommodate the needs of both the employee and the organisation.
They can cover a wide range of alternatives from part-time working and job-sharing to flexitime, annualised hours or working from home to name a few.
Who can request flexible working?
Flexible working arrangements have often been seen as a benefit for employees who are parents. Although it can accommodate parents’ needs to balance responsibilities, it has been a statutory right to request flexible working for anyone in the UK since 2014. But how many people know this? Probably far fewer than they should.
While most businesses say flexible working is important to competitiveness, business investment and job creation, the number of people working flexibly has plateaued over the last 10 years. Furthermore, most jobs are still not advertised as being flexible, which in many cases deters an untapped talent pool from applying.
Surely therefore it would make sense to embed, monitor and evaluate flexible working provisions to improve work and working lives for the benefit of individuals, businesses and society? What’s not to love?!