It has never been easier to be flexible with your working hours. Smart phones, cloud computing, and Wi-Fi means you can easily take things out of office hours without interfering with your productivity levels.
Recognising that traditional working hours are no longer a one size fits all option for every workforce, the Government will allow any employee to request flexible working hours with effect from 6th April 2014.
Currently only parents with children under 17 or who are carers have had this right, but it is expected that a substantial number will take up this opportunity.
Why is it so attractive?
The stresses and strains of office life can become too much for some, especially when demands out of the office are as challenging as those at work. Flexible working can offer the elasticity that doesn’t usually exist in full-time employment, enabling you to fit work in around other commitments in an environment that suits you and your working style.
Is the 9-5 something of the past?
More and more employees are looking for an alternative to the 9-5 grind. Here’s why it is no longer a perfect fit in today’s modern world.
- Task Orientated
Most office based jobs aren’t focused around shift work and instead are goal based in finishing projects and tasks. When orientated around the completion of a task companies can become open to the idea of flexible hours. After all, it might take one person 5 hours to complete one task and 7 for another without any influence on the standard of the work produced.
- Work Vs. Play
With the increased trend of combining work and play in the aim to improve productivity and create more original and innovative ideas, it is hard to draw the line of what can be considered as actual “working hours”. You may be in the workplace but how many of these hours are actually productive enough to be chargeable and show results?
- Crippling Childcare Costs
According to Mumsnet, the cost of childcare prevents two thirds of women working more. A majority of Mums would love to return to work but it is not financially viable to pay childcare costs or they are unable to find the flexible working arrangements required. Interestingly, The Telegraph has suggested cutting the hours of a working week to 30 instead from 40 in the aim to improve wellbeing, family life and communities. The shorter working week would ease pressure on carers and allow family responsibilities to be shared more equally.
- Staff Retention
Due to the appealing nature of flexible working, practices may be able to achieve high levels of staff retention. With a happier and more relaxed workforce comes increased levels of motivation- an all-round winner for a business. You will be more likely to attract highly capable applicants during recruitment as many employees consider flexible working as the “make-or-break” of job offers.
What is your preference in working hours? Do you prefer flexible or traditional?