Does flexible working improve productivity?
From work-life balance, to shift work, to caring responsibilities, there’s never been a greater focus on flexible working. Flexible working has become more common in the UK, which has one of the most diverse range of working patterns in Europe. And it’s set to increase with greater extensions expected in the right to work flexibly. In fact, experts predict a cultural shift where flexible working will become the norm.
It’s now a commonly-held view that employers who introduce flexible working – anything from ‘flexi-time,’ to 4-day weeks, compressed hours, to job shares etc. – achieve tangible improvements in their business. Some of the benefits of flexible working include:
- More productive workers – employees with good work-life balance are likelier to be more content and therefore more productive. Not only that but reduced stress from, for example, avoiding travelling at rush hour, can mean reduced sickness rates. A bonus is that better morale and loyalty leads to better overall employee relations.
- Better staff recruitment and retention – agreeing to requests for flexible working means you can hang on to your top talent. A CIPD human resources report on flexible working found that 73% of employers surveyed felt that implementing flexible working practices had a positive impact on staff retention. Companies open to requests for flexible working are also likely to attract good job candidates. Young workers see flexible working as the norm rather than the exception and as one part of the employment offer alongside pay.
- Greater businesses opportunities – if you have staff willing to work earlier or later than the standard hours, then you’ll be in a better position to offer your clients services for longer hours. A focus on flexible working can also encourage businesses to think creatively and get staff working smarter rather than longer, to look at the quality of output rather than quantity alone.
Managers can sometimes be discouraging when staff request flexible working. It can be off-putting to keep track of workers on a range of different contracts – who’s supposed to be in, or out, and when? How does their pay now add up? What should their re-calculated holiday entitlements be?
But if you want to take advantage of the benefits of flexible working without the paperwork headache, an obvious solution is to install an automated time and attendance system.
A good time and attendance system:
- Enables employees to clock in and out via range of options which you can choose – swipe card, phone-clocking or biometric clocking in
- Can alert you if someone fails to clock in at the right time
- Easily keeps track of hours worked and pay for employees on flexi-time, part-time working, with TOIL, etc.
- Automatically generates accurate timesheets which are then sent to payroll on time without the hassle
- Shows employee data such as holiday taken and owing
This way you can have the best of both worlds – reap the benefits of flexible working while saving time and money by automating employee management.
So the next time an employee asks for flexible working, think of the benefits, and give it some serious thought.
WFM by Chronologic offers a workforce management system that covers time and attendance, HR management, absence, reporting and more