Can a 100% flexible business really work?

What happens when many - or even all - of your employees want to try flexible working? Should you stop agreeing to flexible working requests once you have a few in one team? Is it this possible while ensuring the business runs smoothly?

We say: yes definitely! The solution lies in the fact that there’s a wide range of ways to work flexibly.

29 August 2018

There are so many ways in which your staff can adjust their weeks to suit their lifestyles while still meeting their professional responsibilities. As you’ll see, with careful planning, it’s definitely possible to make a 100% flexible business work well and offer flexibility in full time roles:

  • Start early, finish late: Adjusting workdays to fit around personal responsibilities - such as helping children get ready for school in the morning, or leaving early to get to evening study classes - can make a positive difference to your team’s lives without impacting on your productivity.
  • Compressed hours: Allowing staff to work 5 days over 4 days for example - you’ll find these staff members more focused and productive.
  • Working from home: If your staff are finding their commute stressful or costly, working remotely could be the answer. Technology means it’s possible to do pretty much everything remotely, from having face to face meetings to working simultaneously on a document in real time.
  • Job sharing: Is it possible to split responsibilities for one role between two part-time members of staff? This allows you to access a greater level of talent - two brains are better than one, after all - and still cover a full-time position.

The key to keeping everyone’s different work schedules neatly aligned is communication. Apps such as Trello and Slack can offer a simple way to help people stay in touch, share information and work on documents together: perfect for teams who aren’t always in the same place at the same time.

To learn more about how flexible working can improve the day-to-day running of a business, we spoke to a couple of our clients about how embracing a flexibility-friendly approach has worked for them:

“We have employees on flexible working contracts throughout our business: in support, client services, projects, development and sales, up to and including supervisor and head-of-department roles.

“Offering flexibility helps us to attract and retain staff. As an employer, we make sure they still feel part of the team - for example, we host regular company meetings when everyone is able to attend. We feel this isn’t much effort, considering what we get in return from our committed flexible workforce.

“Flexology are extremely professional in their approach, taking the time and effort to really understand our business, the roles we’re looking to fill and the characteristics that would fit in neatly our teams. As a consequence, we’ve had a very high success rate when interviewing candidates. This has saved us a huge amount of time, and the brilliant flexible staff we’ve employed have made a positive contribution to the success of our company.”

Managing Director, Bristol Technology Company

“We have traditionally employed full time roles, and given flexibility to existing staff when they have applied for it. However we’ve found it more and more challenging recruiting developers in particular and spoke to Flexology as we liked their refreshing approach. We still really needed someone full time, so they suggested we offer a range of flexible working options including home working and compressed hours.

The candidate they sourced wanted compressed hours, to be able to have a day off work with his young family each week, he told us that he wouldn’t have considered moving without this option. He is already invaluable to us and in this demanding market I’m confident the flexibility we have offered will help to retain him. We will continue to offer flexible working options each time we recruit now”

Managing Director, Bristol Digital Agency

To find out more about how to make flexible working work for your business, get in touch