Home comforts: how flexible working can benefit both employee and employer

Employers have the opportunity to do more to provide flexibility, for the benefit of all employees and organisations

“So where do you work?”

A very common question and when asked I tend to say, ‘I’m based in Guildford’. My business card confirms Tempus Court, Onslow Street, Guildford GU1 4SS but the answer leaves the door open to the truth which is a little more involved.

As a consultant I spend time at client offices but that might just be a few hours during the course of a week. Like an increasing number of people I will work from home at least some of the time and will often spend as much time at my home desk during the week as at the one in Tempus Court.

The benefits of homeworking

One recent survey suggested homeworking has workplace-houseincreased by 25% in the last five years, with 8.2 million (31%) British employees now working from home for at least one day per week. Certainly, this more flexible approach to working is adopted at the Guildford Punter Southall Aspire office and I’m of the opinion it’s a win win for both employees and employer. Such arrangements are just one aspect of the long-term trend towards more flexible working and the benefits are palpable for employers and employees alike. I believe it contributes to more productive, happier employees who take less sick days and exhibit less stress. This will of course benefit the employer with spin offs including increased staff retention and being able to access a wider talent pool.

I’m happy to be one of those able to work from home and at a minimum enjoy the 2.5 hours per day it gives me back not having to travel and battle the M25. Admittedly half an hour of my regained time may be spent hitting ‘snooze’ on the alarm but that probably puts me in a better frame of mind when I do turn my PC on - which is still earlier than I do when in the office.

However, it must be said I do like to come into the office every week for a whole heap of reasons, both business and personal, and so I welcome the flexibility I have. We’re all different but for me, the trappings of a traditional office environment and catching up face to face with our colleagues helps improve my state of mind.

Get it right

An employer who gets their ‘flexi’ arrangements right will stand to benefit and, in a world where health and wellbeing policies are increasingly a focus at senior management meetings, these employers are already making progress.workplace-people

Obviously, some industries and roles lend themselves to home working more than others, but there’s often at least some scope with technology being the key enabler.

Review your policy

So, if you are an employer, do review your flexi working policy and make sure it’s appreciated by your employees. Perhaps more could be done - and I for one would suggest flexi working is a true employee benefit where you may well be able to compete with the market leaders without needing to spend much hard cash.      

Posted by Mark Hanson

Topics: Employee Engagement, Retirement, Guildford, financial wellbeing

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