The joys of flexible working

 

Its been a rather long year since I returned back to work after my second maternity leave. I am not just grateful to have the opportunity to go out to work, continue my career and have those rare moments when I’m able to drink tea whilst its still hot but also the fact that my employer supports flexible and part-time working. My employer has a hot-desking policy which means I am able to work remotely from home once or twice every week without having to “fight” for it.  Hot-desking is a work space sharing and flexible model in which employees outnumber desks and involves allocating desk to employees when they are required or on a rota system, rather than giving each worker their own permanent desk. Additionally, it involves multiple staff using a single physical work station during different time periods. It is fast becoming a common practice for most big organisations located in high demand and expensive locations such as in Canary Wharf andd City of London to save building and infrastructure costs.

Recent survey by working mum showed that 18% of mums had been forced to leave their work when flexible and/or remote working was not allowed. Adapting to work was tough the first time around when I had my first son, not just for me, but my family as well. Then there wasnt a hot desking policy and work from home was at your boss discretion on an adhoc basis. This time around, I returned back to work on a 4 work day basis, plus I managed to get Mondays off work to spend at home with my boys. On top of that, I am able to work from home atleast once a week. Flexible working and part time working definitely made it slightly easier this time around.

Sometime though an important team meeting is scheduled for my day off which means I can be “flexible enough” to dial into the meeting from home. Also, forgetting about me when I work from home is not uncommon and it means I have to work harder to remain a part of my team. Some evenings, I have to log in to complete a time pressured report or send an email to the offshore team in India. Additionally, the hot-desking first come first serve policy means some days I struggle to get a suitable desk in the office the days I’m in and can end up seating far away from my team. Plus the clear desk policy means I can’t put my kids photo on my desk like I did when I had my first son.

Similarly, on the home front, It is not always easy too as some days I get dragged into issues at home that would otherwise have been resolved my weekday nanny and/or husband and some days its actually much harder to focus on work than I imagined! Nevertheless, the benefits of flexible and remote working definitely supersedes working every work day physically from the office. Some of the benefits of flexible working from my experience includes:

  1. Improved work-life balance which means I’m able to manage my own timetable to suit my needs. Recognising that individuals have different needs both inside and outside of work is key
  2. The chance for my team to have extended operating hours as I’m usually more than happy to log in to cover the US working time-zone when required
  3. Reduced levels of sickness. It also helps to reduce absenteeism as the flexibility means I’m able manage school runs, deal better with sickness, doctors appointments etc
  4. Greater continuity as staff, who might otherwise have left their job can manage their personal schedules. I don’t see how I would have continued being a working mom if I didn’t have any flexibility
  5. Increased employee engagement and loyalty leading to better productivity and performance
  6. Embedding a culture of flexibility reduces the different issues that can prevent women from advancing their careers

Offering flexible working is also about doing the ‘right thing’. Advantages for employers and employees exist when the employer allows employees to work flexible schedules- whether the flexible work schedule involves part-time work days, compressing work days, flexible daily hours, telecommuting or remote working. Its is usually a win-win situation.

What other benefit can flexible working offer employees and employers?

 

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15 Comments

  1. November 21, 2017 / 7:19 am

    It will definitely lead to job satisfaction. I’m a working mom and I wish that I could have flexible working hours – either working half day, three days a week or working remotely. Thanks for sharing your views.#TwinklyTuesday

  2. November 21, 2017 / 7:31 am

    A sense of pride of working for a company that values family and less guilt on the side of mothers who constantly try and juggle too much! #TriumphantTales

  3. November 21, 2017 / 7:56 am

    Popping back from #TwinklyTuesday

  4. November 21, 2017 / 11:51 am

    I really think companies are short sighted if they don’t look at flexible working as an option. I think it’s really sad when they dismiss part of the workforce just because they have a family as I think there are really big benefits to both employee and employer.

  5. November 21, 2017 / 1:52 pm

    Flexible working is the way forward. There is no need to people to be tied to their desks 5 days a week in he office. My previous company was rubbish when it came to flexible working and it was one of the main reason I didn’t want to return. I’m glad yours is working well for you. Thanks for linking up with #TwinklyTuesday

  6. November 21, 2017 / 9:27 pm

    Hi, flexible working is they way ahead we have it where I work and I think that it results in happier more productive staff force #TwinklyTuesday

  7. November 21, 2017 / 9:54 pm

    I’m glad your company offer flexible working as an option – it baffles me that so many places don’t and then they wonder why they lose a good member of their team – I’ve had many friends who’ve found new roles in the same sector with a different company who fully supported their need for flexible working and their old companies have been kicking themselves for managing to lose such a great asset.

  8. November 21, 2017 / 10:42 pm

    OMG, I would love to be able to work from home. I have had to cut down my hours at work because I cannot be in the office for the number of hours that are required. My employer would get so much more out of me if they could only be a bit more flexible with regards to the location that I work from. It’s bonkers really. Thanks for this post. I am tempted to send it anonymously to my boss. Pen x #TriumphantTales
    Pen recently posted…The joy of being a single parentMy Profile

  9. November 22, 2017 / 9:07 am

    I agree that flexible working is important but I think the difficulty is that many UK companies are SMEs without the infrastructure to put these things in place. I worked in a corporate environment for over 20 years but finding somewhere in Cardiff where I could slot back in and enjoy flexible working hours is well nigh impossible – unless I chose to go into the Public Sector.
    Linda Hobbis recently posted…Putting Some Stretch Back In Your Day With HoMedicsMy Profile

  10. November 22, 2017 / 9:53 am

    I’ve not heard of hot desking before.
    I think flexible working is so important. My request to return to work part time after having my first child was refused. I ended up leaving after having my second child as it was just too much for me.
    Colette recently posted…Tried & Tested (Week 47 – 2017)My Profile

  11. November 22, 2017 / 3:48 pm

    I agree with everything you’ve said here – I love hot desking, and I think working from home occasionally can be really beneficial to the employee (I know I’m more productive when I’m not distracted by meetings and the such!) x

  12. November 24, 2017 / 4:10 pm

    I really love the idea of flexible working and think it make a huge difference to employee satisfaction. Ultimately it empowers the employee and provides them a positive working environment.

  13. November 26, 2017 / 8:38 am

    Flexible working is so important these days and it’s a relief that so many more companies are recognising the need for it. Your set up sounds perfect. Thanks for joining in at #TriumphantTales 🙂

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