Why flexible working? The Business Case | Capability Jane

Why flexible working? The Business Case

We are at the forefront of innovation in the world of part time and flexible working.

BrightWorks is the sister company of Capability Jane Recruitment and is a culture change consultancy specialising in helping organisations create inclusive, diverse and flexible workplaces. Key areas of focus and expertise are:

  • Inclusive culture: inclusive culture diagnostic and culture change roadmap to help drive a shift in behaviours, practices, processes and ultimately culture
  • Diversity in recruitment: implementation roadmap, training and toolkits to help enable inclusive processes and an increase in diversity hiring
  • Flexible job design: a methodology and workflow tool to help design flexible roles, teams and careers
  • Job sharing: implementation support for individuals, managers, HR and organisations

For more information please  email sarahill@brightworksconsultancy.com.

Why flexible working? The Business Case

The business case is compelling. The population demographic and way of life is changing. Smart organisations recognise this and act upon it.

There is a growing desire for flexibility across the UK working population. 

A survey of highly qualified women in professional services found that:

  • 89% Want access to flexible career opportunities.
  • 80% Cite flexi-time as the most popular form of flexible working.
  • 79% Some degree of home-working would help them to work full time.
  • 64% Want access to roles where they can be flexible with their schedules.
  • 54% Seek a job with some home-working.
  • 70% of female graduates with children chose to leave their employer due to the lack of flexible working options

However, this desire for flexible working extends beyond the female working population.

  • A recent CIPD survey showed that where flexible working practices are available, take-up amongst men is at 70%. The most commonly used practices are flexitime (35%), working from home (25%) and mobile working (22%).
  • 73% of employers who allow flexible working report a positive impact on employee motivation and 72% say flexible working positively affects employee engagement.
  • UK legislation has taken this desire for flexibility into account. Since April 2011 both parents can share parental leave with both the mother and father being entitled to 6 months leave each during the first year of the baby’s life.
  • The Default Retirement Age was previously set at 65 years has been abolished to allow the ageing population, who are living longer, to work for longer. This has brought about an increase demand for more flexible roles for the ageing work population.

There is a growing demand across the UK workforce for part time working options

  • 89% of all UK graduates cite work-life balance as a key priority – over salary.
  • Our research has shown that 60% of working women want to work part-time.
  • This is not a gender-specific issue. Data we collated from a number of job share and flexible working implementation programmes within global organisations in senior roles shows that 30% of the applications were from men.
  • A recent UK survey of 600,000 employees reported that 27% of employees in organisations that do not support a positive work-life balance plan to leave in the next two years.

With the age of connectivity upon us, the world of work is changing faster than ever before. In the past workers were unavoidably shackled to a 9-5 lifestyle in a bricks and mortar office through necessity rather than choice.

Now technology is enabling the collaboration and sharing of content with anyone, whenever and wherever’s needed. Cloud technology and the birth of communication tools such as Google Hangouts, Skype and FaceTime mean that employees can be anywhere in the world and still be in ‘the office’.

Offering flexible working options could be one of the best things that your company could do today.

The labour market demographic is changing

As the labour market demographic changes so too are the needs and desires of the workforce. For non-millennials (those born before 1980) control over work, development opportunities and pay are the key drivers for work satisfaction. Millennials on the other hand (born after 1980) have different requirements. As millennials invariably work with less job security; retire later and do so with or without a pension, their attitudes to work have changed significantly. PWC’s recent global generational study found that millennial employees are unconvinced that excessive work demands are worth the sacrifices to their personal life. Millennials value work/life balance and they place a high priority on workplace culture. Flexibility in where they work and how much they work is a key driver in maintaining millennial satisfaction.

Greater retention of staff

An employee survey carried out for CIPD by Kingston University/Ipsos MORI found that “workers on flexible contracts tend to be more emotionally engaged, more satisfied with their work, more likely to speak positively about their organisation and less likely to quit.” A happy workforce is key to retaining staff and offering flexible working helps employees to strike a happy work-life balance whilst ensuring that out of work factors such as children or caring for family members doesn’t get in the way of work commitments.

Increased productivity

Many time and motion studies have shown a causal link between productivity and flexible working. The 9-5 shift and the need to commute can negatively impact on both a workers time and energy. Being able to manage one’s own time; working when inspired or unencumbered with other tasks can greatly improve an employee’s efficiency and lead to higher work-outputs as well as improving their quality of work.

Meeting customers’ needs when operating in a global or 24/7 marketplace

In the global business place the market never stops. Somewhere in the world there is always someone looking to do business and offering flexible working can help your workforce to meet your customers’ needs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Can you afford to miss out on any business opportunities due to the 9-5 working day?

Savings on property and energy costs

Offering flexible working in the form of homeworking can greatly help to reduce property and energy costs. Whilst there may be an initial start-up cost to setting up working from home solutions, over a short space of time the benefits will far outweigh the initial outlay cost. Imagine the savings you could make if the majority of your workforce could work from home. That could mean the difference between a good business and a great business.

The above are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the benefits that your business can enjoy from offering flexible working options. As technological advancements continue to make flexible working an ever more attractive option and the demand from workers increases, there has never been a better time to consider flexible working options.

If you are looking for a new approach and would like to talk to us about how Capability Jane Recruitment could support you or your business, now or in the future, please contact us.