Flexibility matters

Modern advancements in technology have revolutionised the workplace and allowed for more flexible working. With individuals now able to work effectively from home, on the move, share jobs and work the hours that suit them, the relationship between the workplace and the employee has fundamentally changed.

The GCS Salary Guide 2016 highlights the importance of flexible working in a turbulent labour market, where 63 per cent of workers are willing to relocate for a new job within the UK and 43 per cent would consider moving overseas. The study found that the two most prized workplace benefits are bonuses and flexible working.

It comes as no surprise that money is king, but with flexible working also a strong motivator have companies kept pace with the new working dynamic? Despite almost three quarters of employees telling us that flexible working would help them achieve a better work life balance, 52 per cent of businesses have not changed their flexible working policy. They remain, well, inflexible.

This has far reaching consequences for companies competing in a job market where the most desired skills are in short supply. Candidates, not businesses, are in the driving seat. With 66 per cent of employers saying it is now harder to find good candidates compared to last year, the importance of providing employee-centric incentives has never been greater.

Vodafone’s recent ‘Flexible: Friend or Foe?’ report found that flexible working boosts employee productivity, company reputation and profits. In addition, a further study conducted by the CIPD and Simplyhealth linked flexible working options with a lower rate of employee absence. Indeed, the UK government estimates that flexible working will contribute £475 million to the economy within the first ten years of introducing a flexible working policy.

All in all, it’s clear that flexible working is beneficial for both employees and businesses, improving work/life balances, aiding with staff retention and attracting new workers. Businesses have the knowledge and resources available to increase these flexible options to their employees, and need to make sure they’re not missing this opportunity.

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