Attracting & Retaining Talent with Flexible Working

Is it time to offer ‘Flexible Working’ options to attract, retain and motivate a talented workforce and gain more productivity? Considering your ‘Flexi’ options’ then read on…

If you’re thinking of offering a more flexible working pattern for your employees, you’ll need to know what your options are – here are some of the main areas to consider.

Candidates often tell us that balancing work with the rest of their home and family life can be a real challenge and that work is having a dramatic impact on their life. There are options which can help for some general guidelines and information check out Gov.co.uk

More and more employers are choosing to work more pro-actively with their employees to find suitable hours and working arrangements that suit both parties. The most common reasons for considering flexible working are:

  • Childcare
  • Further education or training
  • Care of relatives or dependents
  • Health (including mental) or disability
  • Transportation, distance or commute to/from work

There are lots of ways you can make your office working hours more flexible. You might want to take elements of these alternatives and tailor a solution that suits your own company, find more information here of things you can do to benefit both employee and employer from the Linked In Talent Blog.

Here are some general terms to start you thinking:

1.Flexi-Time

Flexi-time generally means you can vary your start and finish times each day. Under the ‘flexi time’ banner there is normally a core period of the day when employees must be at work (eg between 10 am and 4pm), whilst the rest of the working day is ‘flexi time’, in which staff can choose when they work, subject to achieving total daily, weekly or monthly hours.

Employers could offer workers a choice of perhaps three time slots, for example, 8am-4pm, 9am-5pm or 10am-6pm. The range of hours can vary depending upon your companies type of business or customer requirements.

2. Part-time work

Part-time work simply means working less than a normal full-time pattern, whether it’s only a couple of hours or something like 25-30 hours a week. Part-time workers are now entitled to the same treatment as full-time employees in terms of rights, including the same hourly rate of pay.

3. Compressed working hours

Compressed working hours allow you to work your total number of agreed hours over a shorter number of working days.

4. Job sharing

Job sharing involves two or more people working part-time to carry out the duties of a full-time position, with the pay, holidays and benefits divided between them.

There are many different ways of job sharing. Some choose to divide the job equally and are trained in all aspects, whereas others concentrate on specific projects, skill sets or client groups. Whatever practical arrangement is agreed, it’s generally a good idea to allow for some overlap period.

5. Working from home

Working from home has become easier with the new and cost-effective technology available. If you’re an Accountant, for instance, you’ll be out working at your client’s premises or logging on from home. It may be easier to base yourself at home instead of the office. Working from home can be a permanent or part-time arrangement, or done on an ad hoc basis to suit both the employer and employee.

6. Staggered hours

Staggered hours let you have a different start, finish and break times. Employers use staggered hours as a way of covering longer opening hours and to make sure busy times, like lunch, are well-staffed. It’s a good opportunity to offer people more flexibility and all employees to negotiate within the team to find times suitable for each member.

7. Time off in Lieu

Time off in lieu is a more informal arrangement than flexi-time. Employees agree with managers to take leave at a mutually convenient time to make up for extra hours worked. This will usually be when you’ve covered someone else’s shift due to staff shortage or sickness.

8. Shift working

Shift working is necessary for any business that needs staff outside of the general 9-5 office hours. Traditionally, working shifts are very structured, but there are opportunities to work part time in shifts of anything from four to eight hours. Shifts can vary though the common ones within Manufacturing are 6-2 and 2-10 or a nightshift, where a Call Centre maybe 11am – 7pm.

9. Term-time working

Term-time working means you can remain on a permanent full or part-time contract, but you can take unpaid leave lasting between six to nine weeks during the school holidays. If you want any more than that, you’ll have to negotiate with your employer or use holiday entitlement. Term-time working is great if you’ve got children at school or if you’re a student and want to top up your income while you’re at college.

10. Temping or casual work

Temping or casual work involves working for an employer for short periods, usually in busy seasonal times like Christmas or Summer or to cover a period of absence.For some, it gives flexibility without the commitment of a permanent job. Many companies now offer employee benefits such as sickness pay if you fulfil the basic requirements.

We hope this guide gives you some great information to get you thinking about flexible working arrangements, there is some more great information here on starting that negotiation process as part of a Linked In series. Let Square Peg help you with your recruitment requirements, find out more about our approach here.

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