A recent survey has reported that flexible work arrangements were a top priority for 24% of employees. Those employees primarily wanted flexitime (where core hours must be worked but start and finish times could be freely chosen), permission to work from home on a regular basis and compressed hours (where the equivalent number of hours as a full-timer are worked by the individual but over fewer days, for example, they do 5 days work over 4 longer days).
So with nearly a quarter of employees stating this is an important factor when job hunting and some even considering leaving their current employment because of the inflexible work conditions, employers may want to review their current practices.
However, if agreeing to flexible work arrangements, it is important that the terms are clearly and comprehensively documented to avoid misunderstanding and dispute. Sensible employers will also want to build in their own protections when agreeing flexible working. This could be anything from imposing an initial trial period to monitor the suitability of the new arrangement, strengthening rules on monitoring and keeping information secure and/or mechanisms to ensure health and safety obligations are met (such as the right to enter the employee's home to carry out a risk assessment).
Flexible working can benefit both employees and employers, yet many organisations don’t offer it or fail to reap the full benefits. Helen Wright from Great Place to Work (GPTW) says the key ingredient to successful flexible working is trust. Millions of employees want flexibility. Great Place to Work’s recent survey of the UK’s working population shows that flexible working is one of the top priorities when choosing a job, particularly among millennials. While financial benefits, job security and location/easy commute came top in our survey, the ability to work flexibly was a top priority for 24%. This increased to more than 32% for millennials.