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Flexible Working - Benefits and Drawbacks TUESDAY, 30 JANUARY 2018

In 2014 the UK Government decided that all employees have the right to request flexible working. This was with a view to creating an efficient, modern and competitive workforce ready to drive the economy forward.

As long as you have worked for the same employer for 26 weeks you can make a statutory application after which the employer has 3 months to make a ‘reasonable’ assessment on whether to grant this request.

This year at CV Screen we have seen flexible working become an increasingly prevalent part of the offer process. A part of the negotiation for many candidates that will influence their decision more than cold hard cash. We have seen some great successes, offers turned down, Companies finding talent they wouldn’t have usually and the occasional candidate pushing the boundaries.

Below is a rundown of the advantages and disadvantages that we have found this year for our clients:

Advantages

Opening up the talent pool available
There is so much talent that can add value to a business who simply cannot work a traditional 9am-5pm. In a market where top candidates are increasingly thinner on the ground, we have found a number of clients being creative in adapting to candidates needs in order to attract candidates who would not normally have been available.

Increased loyalty
An employee who feels trusted, secure in their role and appreciated enough by the management is bound not only to be more effective in their position but also have an increased sense of engagement, duty to their Manager and Employer.

Happy workforce
The team members who half their commuting time by starting half an hour earlier, the Dad who gets to pick his son up from school, the Developer who saves £2k a year by working 3 days from home.
We do find that job satisfaction and retention levels go through the roof at Companies who are willing to go over and above what the average employer is offering.

Increased opening hours
We have seen so many companies this year increase their opening hours by having staggered starting times through the day. In a competitive market this could be the difference between hitting those ambitious Company targets or the dreaded meeting with the MD or Investors!

Reduced turnover of valued staff
Working in recruitment does not normally (with most companies) marry well with having a young family. I am not assuming I am valued, but one of the reasons I have been here for over 7 years is because I can go to plays, occasionally take my little man to school or work from home when I have a delivery. I feel appreciated and have a great work/life balance which allows me to be increasingly more productive.

Reputation
Everyone knows the Companies in their industries which look after their team, the ones to work for, the Employer of choice.

Reduction in sick leave
The ability to work from home with man flu has probably saved CV Screen 20 working days this year.

Disadvantages

Distractions
It’s all too easy to make a bacon butty, go sledging when snowing or watching the latest Game of Thrones episode. Employees who get distracted easily or who need their boss actively managing their day can reduce productivity.

Team Atmosphere
In my job, the atmosphere in the office is key for a productive team. Too much flexible working for the team could compromise the environment you create.

Increased difficulty in managing your team
Particularly for remote workers, the ability to pop over to someone’s desk to see what is happening or to give them a gee up is severely limited.

Correct set up from home
All too common, the incorrect set up at home can hit productivity – office, internet connection, lack of available support.

Perceived favouritism
Once flexibility is given to one team member, should this same benefit be rolled out to all employees? Reality is flexible working is not suitable for everyone whether they believe they should have the option or not.

All-in-all flexible working does have many benefits for both employers and employees. It can create a happy, productive workforce while also attracting top talent to come into the Company.

However, if it is not managed effectively it could hinder Company performance and atmosphere in an office environment.


About the Author

Sam Gillett is a Senior Recruitment Consultant at CV Screen. Sam specialises in recruiting for IT, Marketing/Digital and Finance positions. If you require advice on your next recruitment drive or have a vacancy you need assistance with please contact Sam on 0345 200 8170 or sam@cvscreen.co.uk

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