TSI Blog

Bend It, Bend It, Just A Little Bit

June 5th, 2014 by Alison McKinney

Looking after employee wellbeing has meant, for many organisations, introducing flexibility and represents an important trend in today’s workplace.

Organisations are challenging their employees to do more with less and employees are being pulled in many directions at once.

More and more organisations are operating 24 hours per day, seven days per week and despite advancements in technology, people are working longer and longer hours.

This leaves less free time to spend with the family or on personal interests and adds a high amount of stress to individuals who are trying to balance their effectiveness at work as well as at home.

Individuals have commitments and needs that go beyond the traditional family time. For example, some employees need time off to attend or teach classes; other workers have a second job. Many need to adjust their schedules to avoid time-consuming traffic jams, or to fit in with child care and for others, working a non-traditional part-time schedule is a lifestyle choice.

Of course, there are many advantages and disadvantages to both employer and employee by introducing a flexible working scheme.

Flexible working comes in many shapes – part time working, term time working, job-shares, home-working, and flexitime and all offer both advantages and disadvantages.

For organisations the advantages include being able to hold onto valuable staff, having a wider talent pool, reducing absenteeism, increasing commitment from employees and improving productivity.  A business might also be able to extend opening hours due to the wider availability of the workforce. Smaller organisations have to ensure they have enough staff available to cover the required hours.  This could make offering flexible working more difficult due to lower levels of employees compared to larger organisations.

For employees the benefits of flexible working include a better work life balance so that they have more time to spend with their families or participate in hobbies, childcare costs may also be reduced, they can travel into work and avoid rush hour traffic, therefore arriving more refreshed and for those employees who are allowed to work at home all or part of the week, there are the benefits of reduced fuel and motor maintenance costs.

The benefits for both parties don’t stop there. The long list of potential benefits include: a more efficient and productive organisation; increased employee engagement levels; a more empowered and motivated workforce; better customer service and increased customer loyalty; increased employee retention and attractiveness to potential employees; reduced levels of sickness absence; and working hours that best suit your employees and customers.

If you want to know more about how to increase employee engagement levels in your organisation, then contact us on +44 (0) 1255 850051.

Written by Alison McKinney
Alison McKinney is the Project and Quality Assurance Manager at The Survey Initiative, a dedicated employee research organisation devoted to helping its clients gain insight and understanding into what drives employee engagement in their business. Alison has extensive experience in project management and quality assurance and has recently worked on projects for clients as diverse as: WSP Middle East. Natural History Museum, Peverel, Marine Stewardship Council, Accor UK &Ireland and Thompsons Solicitors. Visit http://www.surveyinitiative.co.uk for more information.

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