Why flexible working is important: How your business can benefit

BlogHR Advice Posted: Tuesday 5th March 2019 by

We’ve all heard that flexible working is not just beneficial for employees but for employers, too. There are many benefits of flexible working for both parties, and there’s no doubt that this type of working arrangement is on the rise.

Many employers, however, still fail to see the benefits that flexible working can have on their business, and are yet to realise their obligations regarding employee requests. So, when it comes to making adjustments in employees’ working time, just how flexible do employers need to be?

Flexible working and the law

According to the flexible working regulations of 2014, the right to request flexible working arrangements extends to all employees — not just parents and carers.

Employees must have worked for the employer for a minimum of 26 weeks to be eligible to make such a request — and must not have made a prior application in the previous 12 months — but by law, employers must reasonably consider each request on its own merits.

Flexible working is considered any working pattern that is not the norm for the business. This includes requests to start or finish work earlier/later, or do some, or all, of their work from home.

As an employer, you must consider each request on its own merits. And, you should only deny such a request if there is a valid business reason, such as it would be too expensive for the business, you cannot meet customer demand, or it would have an adverse effect on your business output.

However, all employee requests must be reasonable. Time off for the World Cup or a royal wedding, for example, is not reasonable. You may still choose to allow this in some instances, of course, or at least put a telly in communal areas to help boost staff morale.

The top business benefits of flexible working

Allowing flexible working in your business comes with some remarkable, and often surprising, business benefits.

Employees can be more productive

Increased productivity is a significant benefit for businesses who choose to allow their employees to work on shift patterns that fit around other life commitments. According to recruitment firm, Robert Half, nearly 60% of HR directors have seen an increase in employee productivity when employees work remotely, or from home.

Employees who work from home have a greater awareness of the need to plan their day. And, of course, they cut down on the commute, meaning they typically start work earlier and finish work later than if they travelled to and from the office each day.

Motivated employees are more creative and innovative

Happy and motivated employees, who can work around their life commitments, are typically more innovative and creative.

A happy employee has the freedom of thought to contribute better ideas than one who is bogged down with the stresses of fitting the needs of their life around their work.

Attracting and retaining the right talent

According to the Undercover Recruiter, flexible working hours topped third in the list the things most desired by the millennial workforce. Employers who offer these arrangements are among the most desired of the generation.

Being flexible with shift patterns, start and finish times, and the ability to work from home, employers will open the floodgates to a whole new workforce. And this alone is one of the greatest gifts anyone can give to their business.

When employers and employees work together and strike a harmonious balance, everyone wins.


For support and advice on flexible working arrangements for your business, get in touch with the talented HR team at Human Results.

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