Why is flexible working good for your business and its employees ?
In a recent study conducted by HR Magazine, it was found that roughly one third of employees would prefer more flexible working hours to a 3% pay rise.
This is a pretty fascinating statistic as it suggests that employers could save money and improve employee happiness simply by redesigning their work patterns and schedules.
While flexible working isn’t without its challenges, the opportunity to make their employees happier without increasing pay may be a tempting prospect to small business owners and managers.
With that in mind, weighing up the pros and cons of offering a more flexible structure to your employees’ workday should give you the insight you need to decide what’s right for your business.
Pros of flexible working
Improve the morale and energy of your business by increasing the happiness of your employees.
With flexible working available to your employees, they will be able to save money on commuting, arrange important appointments, and find a better work-life balance—it follows that they’ll be much happier both in and out of the office.
Reduced turnover of staff
Why is it worth having happier employees? Studies have shown that employee happiness and employee turnover rates are directly linked.
If you make the effort to make your workplace more flexible, chances are fewer employees will need to find new work when their situation changes.
The average cost of turnover per employee is £30,614—so it’s definitely worth taking steps to improve retention!
When employees don’t show up for work, productivity goes down and costs go up.
With flexible working available, many of your workers will be able to fit work around their other commitments more efficiently. They might even work from home on days when they would otherwise have done no work at all.
Improved company image
Think about how you want your business to come across to potential new employees and clients. Like it or not, companies that offer flexible work schedules come across as more innovative and modern than those who do not.
In fact, 80% of women and 52% of men are looking for flexibility in their next role—if you want to come across as a forward-thinking business, this may be the answer!
It may save you money
Contrary to what some executives believe, offering flexible working can actually save a business money. According to Altus, flexible working can save businesses up to £10,000 on rent, utilities, food, cleaning, and taxes. Plus, with increased rates of employee retention, you may also save money on turnover costs.
Cons of flexible working
Harder to supervise your staff
For some businesses, supervising staff is a crucial part of ensuring productivity levels remain high. Of course, some people believe that productivity actually increases when people don’t feel constantly watched over.
This however, will likely depend on your industry, and you’ll need to judge for yourself whether you’d be able to maintain your productivity levels with more flexible arrangements.
Availability for face-to-face time with clients may diminish
If your business relies on providing face-to-face time for clients, offering flexible work could reduce your employees’ availability to schedule meetings.
This may in turn lead to lower client satisfaction. Be sure to weigh up the importance of in-person client meetings when deciding whether flexible working could work for you.
New tech solutions may increase costs
While costs tend to go down with flexible work, they can occasionally increase, too. If your business doesn’t already use cloud-based software that can function from any location, you may need to set up a whole new suite of software services for your staff to use while at home. This can cost money in setup, training, and ongoing license fees.
Can create an image of a less professional working environment
While some businesses want to come across as easy-going and approachable, others may want to retain their reputation of being a little more “serious.”
Because some people associate flexible working with a more laid-back working culture, your business’ reputation may change—make sure it’s a change that works with your brand image.
Should you introduce flexible working?
Flexible work has both pros and cons, but it’s clear that employees tend to prefer having the option of flexible work.
But while your business will definitely profit from a lower rate of employee turnover, you may find that flexible working doesn’t mesh well with your company image. In that case, it may be time to get out the chequebook and start offering raises!
If you are planning on expanding your business to include a flexible, remote working option, you’ll need to figure out a smart scheduling solution.
Luckily, this doesn’t have to be hard. At Findmyshift, we provide smart, great value software that makes real-time scheduling easier than ever.