Making Flexible Working Work For Everyone
Posted: Monday December 16 2019
By: Charlotte Ashton
In the UK, over the past two decades flexible working has increased to the extent that five times as many people now work flexibly. Much of this rise is attributable to the various legal changes which have given more rights to employees to request flexible working patterns. Flexible working continues to be an important issue, reflected by political parties aiming to give further legal rights for employees to request flexible working. In addition, the cost of office space, difficulty commuting, and technology improving all serves to make flexible working an attractive option, benefiting many employees, not just those looking to balance work around families.
In order for flexible working to be successful for everyone, both employees and employers need to think creatively, be open-minded, and have a positive attitude about potential flexible working opportunities.
Employees, when considering making a flexible working request, may be concerned about a number of issues. For example they might find it tricky to know how to approach their employer to request a flexible working pattern. They might be concerned about the employer’s reaction to their request and also about what effect a flexible working pattern might have on their ability to remain part of a team at work. They may also not fully understand their rights around the statutory flexible working request procedure or laws which protect them.
Employers, on the other hand, may be concerned about how to manage any requests along with ensuring they can remain in control of staff levels, and ensure they can properly monitor performance.
With that in mind, we’ve put together some tips for employees and employers, so that everyone can approach flexible working in a positive manner.
Tips for Employees
Fully plan your idea in advance of approaching your employer about it. Have you considered what hours you want to do, what days, whether you want to be flexible about the days or whether you need a new fixed working pattern? By putting your mind to all the possibilities, you will be able to have a full discussion with your employer about your proposals.
Consider alternatives in case your idea is not possible with the employer. For example, instead of working fewer days are you able to do fewer hours with where your start and end times are changed to work around childcare?
Consider the positives and the negatives of your request. How can you counteract any perceived negatives on the employer’s behalf? Being prepared in advance means that you can answer any questions and show you have fully considered how your request will affect the rest of the team and business.