Flexible working – Is it right for you?

Written by: Charlotte Rogers
Published on: 4 Jun 2019

Flexible Working Hero Image

Those typical 9-5 working days are starting to look like a thing of the past. More and more employees and employers are starting to explore flexible working hours and are starting to really see the positive effects it can have. Flexible working is when businesses allow their employees to work around their own schedule. This can include working from home, either permanently or for a certain number of days and being able to compromise on different working hours. It is common that the typical 9-5 schedule does not work for a lot of employees anymore, so being able to have a different working pattern to other employees in the business, allows for them to do their work at a time that suits them. All employees are eligible to apply for flexible working hours. E.g. If the typical day is 9-5, you can request to have 8-4 shifts etc. It all depends on your preferences. You still get the work done, just at a better time for you.

Why chose flexible working?

Traditional time restraints to working hours can affect whether a candidate want to accept a job offer or not. Many new employees expect to have flexible hours available to them. Typically, most businesses will offer a 9-5 working structure, unless they have another structure to their working day. These hours of course, don’t include the commute too and from work. So, if someone is working in London and it typically takes them 45 minutes to an hour to get to work during rush hour, their working day is going to be a minimum of 10 hours. Of course, it’s not limited to that example, but a lot of commuters spend a lot of time travelling to and from work, making the time some employees spend at home very limited. Not only this, but it can be very exhausting and can have a prolonged effect on their physical and mental health. Some city-based employers offer flexible working to ensure they can beat the rush and leave earlier to get home on time. Even remotely working can make a huge difference on someone’s life, commuting can often be the cause for work related stress.

However, commuting is not the only reason people chose to work flexibly or remotely. Both male and female employees with children may need to be home earlier some days to pick their children up after school, or they may need days working from home when child care falls through. Carers may need to spend more time with their family and some people just don’t want to be restricted to the typical restraints that may come with a 9-5 job. What ever the reason, if it is valid to you then it should also matter to your employer. Flexible working is there to help you with your every day life, employers are starting to realise that people may have things that get in the way and having a flexible working scheme in order, allows both the employer and employee to prepare for this. It also opens doors to people that may be studying part-time or a range of people that may have not had the opportunity to work full time before. Flexible working can allow working for everyone to be that little bit easier – and increase productivity.

Work-life benefits

Your job and career may be a very important aspect in your life, but you need to make sure it works well with the commitments you may already have. You don’t want to be missing out on important parts of your personal life, if you spend too much time working and away from the things you want to do, it can lead to resentment of your job. Being given the opportunity to alter the hours you work, means you may have time to plan extra time for things you may find more important. Having a good work-life balance allows you to have time away from work and the stress that may come with the job. Sometimes long hours in the work place can mean you may not have the time or energy to do the other things you may have on your agenda. If the 9-5 doesn’t work for you and it’s not allowing you to do everything you wish, ask to make a change. You are entitled to it, so it is worth the try. Some people like to have the option for flexible hours and some people love to be in the office during the stereotypical hours. It’s all down to preference. But it’s always nice to have the option there for when you may need it.

Why are companies offering flexible working?

Many businesses are making is easier for employees to apply for flexible working hours. Often asking what hours you would prefer during the interview process. Businesses are understanding that different people have different restraints within their personal life and in the long run, flexible working helps both the employee and the business. This way, you know what is coming. You know what days people are leaving early or working from home, you take away the mystery and can create a good and well-structured work place for everyone. It’s been shown that companies that offer flexible working, have more productive employees. Some business may be worried that it will affect the employees work flow, but sometimes it can motivate them to work harder. It also takes a lot of trust from the employer, to trust that when employees are working remotely, they are doing their work to the best standard they possibly can. Employees often know they are trusted and can do their work with ease and high motivation. Flexible working is here to stay.

Flexible working hours is offering people more of an opportunity to have the career they want. Some people feel that 9-5 hours aren’t for them or just isn’t doable. So, when they are offered hours that suit both them and the business, more opportunities become available. Businesses are really starting to see the positive effects that this has on people, so if you feel like this is for you, apply for it. Everyone is eligible to apply, and depending on your situation, it could help you out greatly. So, speak to your line manager and finally get what suits you best. It will only help your career develop even further.