Five things to consider when offering flexible working hours

There’s no one-size-fits-all solution when it come to business strategy. What will work well for you depends on the size of your team, the nature of your business and what feels right at each stage of your company’s development. 

However, as your business evolves and grows, it’s worth considering whether adding flexible working hours to your employment package could benefit you and your staff. To help you decide if offering flexible working could be the next logical step for your business, we’ve put together a checklist of five key thoughts for you to consider:


1 May 2018

1: What does your team need?


When you’re weighing up whether offering flexibility will work for you, it makes sense to open a discussion with your team. Invite them to share whether they feel flexible working would benefit them in their working week, and what this possibility would look like to them.


For example, could it involve starting earlier each day in order to leave at 3pm? Perhaps they’d like to work from home two days a week, or taking on longer hours four days each week in order to take Fridays off? Once it’s clear how your staff envisage using this flexibility in an ideal world you’ll be able to assess how feasible this is for your business.


2: How will you monitor your new flexible team?


To make the switch to flexible working easier for both you and your staff, it’s useful to monitor your team regularly - wherever they are - by making check-in phone or video calls part of the working day. This creates an opportunity for your staff to ask questions or share updates and for you to make sure projects stay on track.


Even with a monitoring system in place though, flexible working requires having a little extra faith in your employees; trusting that they’ll arrive and leave at agreed times, for example, and give work their full attention when out of office. But when that trust is respected - as employees meet deadlines, regardless of when or where they’re working - this can help to strengthen the bond between managers and staff, fostering positive working relationships.


3: What could flexible working make possible for your staff?


Finding that elusive work-life balance is made easier for your staff when they’re able to build their working week around their commitments outside the office. Whether they’d like to spend more quality time with family and friends or pursue a passion that inspires them, it’s likely that they’ll thank you for these opportunities with their loyalty.


4: How can you integrate flexible working into your recruitment plan?


The truth is, flexible working is increasingly seen as a key part of an appealing employment package. Businesses that develop a reputation for allowing staff to work flexibly are likely to attract a greater number of candidates, which will ultimately allow them to cherry-pick the best staff to join their team.


As well as attracting talent, flexible working helps to boost staff retention rates. If employees are able to tailor their working hours to suit their lifestyle and personal commitments, they’re less likely to burn out or start looking elsewhere for a new role. Plus they’re more likely to become advocates for your business - spreading the word that you’re a good employer to work for.


5: Would you benefit from a pilot?


If you’ve explored the option of flexibility with your team and are now considering how flexible working could work in practice, why not try a three-month trial period? This allows you to test your options within a predetermined window of time.


That way, if your initial plan doesn’t work as you’d expected - or you need to adjust the parameters of the flexibility available to your staff - changes can be made once the trial period is over.


To find out more about how flexible working could benefit for your business or to ask more questions about how to make it work, get in touch today.