Flexible Working and Managing Flexible Work Requests

Before the pandemic struck the world by a storm in 2020, flexible working arrangements were a nice-to-have perk. Remote employees were the minority, and most business leaders believed they could only nurture a productive workforce in the office. 

But everything changed overnight, and those working on-site were suddenly only essential workers. Even though the COVID-19 crisis is ending in most countries, including the United Kingdom, flexible work isn’t going anywhere. 

Employees Prioritize Flexibility

According to Statista, 4.27 million UK employees have employment contracts that allow flexible hours, making it the most common practice in 2022. Contrary to what employers thought, people like the post-pandemic workplace arrangements and wouldn’t return to strict schedules and solely office work. 

Another report found that the demand for flexible work is increasing, with 8.7 million full-time workers yearning for flexibility. Moreover, the younger generations would likely decline jobs with rigid working hours. 

For instance, 75 per cent of Gen-Z see flexible work as the number one employee benefit. Here’s why this arrangement is also beneficial for companies. 

Four-Day Working Week & Flexible Working

Top 3 Benefits of Flexible Work

1. Enhances Employee Retention

Today, flexible schedules are among the most sought-after employee perks and benefits. Many people would choose flexibility over a prestigious title or additional time off. 

Meeting employees’ needs and expectations is necessary for cultivating loyalty. Companies can retain workers and attract top talent by offering flexible schedules and remote work. 

2. Boosts Productivity

Employers often hold back from introducing flexible working because they fear it would affect productivity as they wouldn’t be able to monitor employees. But according to Gartner, 43% of workers are more productive if allowed flexibility.  Moreover, this work arrangement enables people to relax and focus on their assignments without office pressure. Many employees feel less productive on-site due to managerial micromanagement and team competition.

3. Improves Employee Engagement

Empowered employees are more engaged, and what’s a better way of empowering them than responding to their needs and ensuring they can choose a work arrangement that stimulates their creativity? Flexible working also shows companies respect and care about their workers.

People want to know their employers trust them to work outside the office and get the work done just as efficiently. That boosts their engagement and helps them enjoy their tasks.

How to Manage Flexible Work Requests

Acas 2021 survey found over 55 per cent of employers expect an increase in flexible work requests, as people wish to split their time between home and office. Even though companies have the right to decline, they should consider the benefits of flexibility and discuss it with their workers in more depth. 

They should be fair and objective, as most employees have reason to ask for flexible working, such as restoring work-life balance or preventing burnout. Employers can ask for a written flexible work request and discuss why the worker would prefer this arrangement. 

However, they should be clear about flexibility policies and what flexible work consists of in their companies. If employers have no relevant regulations, they should consider introducing them and providing all employees equal access to flexible working. 

Making flexibility a part of the company culture helps attract high-quality candidates and retain employees, especially working parents, students, minorities, and people from diverse groups. Whether you approve the flexible work request or not, it shouldn’t take a long time, and it might alter your employee’s contract. 

Flexible work has numerous advantages for companies and employees, but employers are often reluctant to introduce this work arrangement. Although business leaders often fear flexibility would impact productivity, loyalty, and commitment, people with access to this benefit are more engaged and motivated. 

Hence, before declining a flexible work request, consider the benefits. Besides improving employees’ work-life balance, it also helps instill trust and nurture lasting retention.  

How HR Consultants at Blue Tree HR Solutions can help with Flexible working

Flexible working requests and considering offering hybrid working and a more flexible working arrangement to staff and new recruits may seem like another headache for employers.  At Blue Tree HR Solutions we can help you implement a policy and support you during flexible work requests and help you find ways to make working hours convenient and beneficial for employers and employees.

If you require expert HR advice for small businesses then take a look at our ad hoc HR and retained HR packages. Feel free to contact our friendly team for more information. 

Will our expert freelance HR services help your business retain its best employees? The answer is yes!

What if freelance HR services Essex could help you retain your star employees?

Employee retention is a fundamental quality of a successful business. It is easier for long-term employees who are familiar with their roles to become specialised and better at their jobs compared to newer, or short-term, employees.

There are many aspects that can impact employee retention and different steps can be taken to reduce your staff turnover. In this blog, we will explain how the expert freelance hr services Essex has available to you can help you retain your best employees!

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Communication is key

Like many other things in life, it all comes down to good communication. Communication underpins all strategies for a happy, successful company. Thankfully, here at Blue Tree HR, good communication is our speciality and an important aspect of the expert HR solutions we provide.

Performance management

Effective communication is integral when it comes to successful productivity and performance management. Setting objectives and reviewing performance is important, however, it is equally, if not more, important how these processes are conducted and how the information is used.

Blue Tree HR provides expert HR advice on developing objectives, motivating, and engaging employees in the most effective way – so that you and your managers are able to more successfully manage performance within the company.

But how does this relate to retaining employees?

There can be friction between managers and employees because of how performance reviews are conducted and/or handled. Employees who feel scrutinised, or unchallenged, are likely to seek positions elsewhere. So, by improving performance management, you reduce employee turnover and retain your best employees!

Improve Performance Reviews | HR Services Essex

Disciplinaries, grievances and concerns

Dealing with disciplinaries and grievances is often seen as something to be avoided at all costs. And of course, every company should do their best to reduce the number of grievances and disciplinaries, however, when they do arise, it is important to handle them in the most constructive manner (and not to avoid them).

This is best achieved when you consult the best freelance HR services Essex can offer, like Blue Tree HR, who are able to provide expert HR solutions to any disciplinaries and grievances as an unbiased third party. Contact us today for more information.

Disciplinaries and grievances are signs that something is not working properly- whether for the employer or the employee (and sometimes both). As the best provider of HR services Essex can offer, Blue Tree HR Solutions opens a channel of constructive communication and provides expert HR solutions so that everyone involved is able to move forward in the best way possible.

By providing a clear, open channel for communicating grievances and disciplinary actions, you avoid the build-up of resentment from one party to another. Instead, a constructive environment is created to solve any issues and move forward without bitterness or grudges.

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How does this help retain the best employees?

Believe it or not, many employees, even the best ones, have grievances or concerns at some point in their careers. It is how these are handled that determines their future employment status with the company. By consulting the best expert freelance HR services Essex can offer, you can make sure grievances and concerns are handled in the best way possible and hold onto the employees that you value most.

With an open channel of communication, you are also more likely to prevent any official grievances and/or disciplinaries. Employees will feel more comfortable communicating difficulties, giving employers a chance to improve practices before becoming an official grievance. This can help prevent accidental discrimination and encourages company growth by introducing effective strategies and practices into the workplace.

The best expert freelance HR services Essex can offer will give advice on allowing your employees to voice their concerns and see positive changes that make their job more enjoyable. This is the most effective way to make your employees feel valued and remain at your company.

What kind of concerns might some of our best employees have?

Work-life balance

A very common concern for employees is maintaining a healthy work-life balance. It can be difficult for employees to go to their boss and discuss their mental/physical health, and how their work-life balance impacts it.

Often this can lead to an employee feeling overwhelmed and eventually feeling the need to leave their role. Having an impartial party to discuss things confidentially makes it easier for people to voice any struggles they may be having and help managers and employers implement better processes and/or practices to solve the problem. Take a look at our previous blog to learn more about ensuring your company supports mental health within the workplace.

The expert HR services Essex has available to you makes all the difference when it comes to retaining your best employees

As you can see, there are a number of ways that the expert HR services Essex has available, like Blue Tree HR, can help you retain your star employees! And if you’re looking for expert HR advice, you’ve come to the right place. Blue Tree HR is proud to offer, professional, impartial and compassionate HR services. We will work alongside you and your team to help your organisation develop a dynamic, professional, and happy workplace

For the best HR services Essex can offer, including both retained HR and ad hoc HR packages, get in touch with the Blue Tree HR team today!