The number of parents returning to work is on the up. In fact, the number of mothers in employment has increased over 10% between 1996 and 2017. What’s more, over three in five mothers are on the lookout for a part-time role. So if you want to attract top talent to your business, one simple way is to cater to the vast number of skilled, experienced parents out there who are specifically on the lookout for flexible employment.
If you’re new to offering flexible working as part of your employment package, it can sometimes seem tricky at first to find a solution that works well for you and your staff. However, with a little planning, offering parent-friendly part-time work can slot seamlessly into your schedule - and give your business a clear competitive advantage.
1: Think seasonally
Do you find your business grows a little quieter over the summer? Creating a term-time-only employment plan could be a good choice for you, as it allows you to downsize your team to suit the seasonal reduction in work, making it cost effective for you. One option could be offering parents a contract that allows them to work full-time during term time, then flexibly or remotely over the summer holidays. A Stanford study showed that flexible workers:
- Achieved more
- Were off sick less often
- Worked longer hours
- Were happier in their work
2: Make a plan
If your business is consistently busy throughout the year, why not bring in interns over the summer to support the parents on your team who would like to work flexibly? Offering work placements at your business is a great way to welcome fresh ways of thinking while supporting your staff and local students - all without breaking the bank.
Make sure there are clear processes for people to follow while a term-time only employee is away. To make sure everyone’s able to access important information at all times - regardless of who’s in the office - create shared online documents that everyone can reference and contribute to around the clock. This also allows your team to collaborate on projects easily, even when some members are working remotely.
4: Stay in the loop
It’s essential to ensure that flexible workers feel integrated into your team, even when they’ve been away from the office over the summer. A useful way to do this is to offer keep-in-touch days - this could involve a casual meeting midway through the summer, or regular phone-ins to catch up on what’s new in the office. This is a great way to help full-time and flexible employees feel connected to one another through the year.
Remember: cater to parents’ needs to work flexibly and you’ll reap the benefits of adding experienced parents to your team. The expertise they have to offer will change your business for the better.
To find out more about how offering flexible working can work for you, get in touch today firstname.lastname@example.org