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Employment Solicitor Deborah Casale on why Flexible Working makes business sense

By Practice Group Leader, Employment

Flexible working is not just a “nice to have” additional benefit for employees. Research from CIPD* shows that not only do you benefit, but employers do too. Here’s why:

1. Retention - 76% of employers surveyed believe that implementing Flexible Working practices has a positive impact on staff retention. Staff retention means reduced recruitment and training costs and increased morale.

2. Motivation and engagement – you are likely to be more motivated and engaged if you can work flexibly. Greater motivation and engagement = greater productivity.

3. Absenteeism and health – if you work flexibly you may have better records on absenteeism. Over half of employers surveyed believed this to be the case and approximately a third of employees said flexible working has helped them reduce the stress they are under. With less absenteeism, employer’s costs are saved.

4. Diversity – Over half of employers surveyed believed flexible working increased diversity in the workforce. Flexible working is a benefit which appeals to a wider talent pool and is a particular attraction if you have children or other caring responsibilities or perhaps you wish to phase out your work prior to retirement. If the talent pool is widened employers are more likely to attract the right employees for the right roles.

5. Low costs – Although not cited as a benefit in the report, flexible working is a benefit which your employer can often offer you at minimal or no cost. In turn the benefit can reduce your commuting costs.

6. Customer service – 48% of employers believe that flexible working increases levels of customer service. This is common sense - you can make calls and send e-mails when you would otherwise be stuck commuting.

7. Work-life balance – 54% of employees said that flexible working helped them achieve a better work-life balance. The research undertaken shows a strong link between those of you who agree they achieve the right balance and those who are engaged at work (see point 2).

8. Team working – rather than a barrier to team working, 50% of employers believe that team working increases with flexible working and 32% of employees agreed.

9. Innovation – approximately one third of employers believed that innovation was enhanced. Perhaps the time saved commuting is spent more creatively and not wasted.

10. Business continuity – over half of employers agreed that business continuity was enhanced by flexible working and employees largely agreed.

If your employer is not convinced that flexible working is the way forward, a reminder of these benefits might just persuade them!

Click here for further information on Flexible Working and Discrimination or contact us on 0800 916 9060.

By Employment Solicitor Deborah Casale.

* Flexible working provision and uptake May 2012 CIPD Survey report.