With flexible working programmes increasing in popularity, whether or not the time has come to completely ditch the 9-5 working day has been up for debate.
Founder of staffing agency 923 Jobs, Helen Wright, states ‘I really believe that flexible working has gained a huge amount of momentum.’ Wright suggests a new trend in viewing a work-life balance with extreme importance when it comes to choosing a job role. To make working from home a reality, Wright has provided her staff with laptops and mobile phones. 923 Jobs is not alone in this trend towards using flexible working hours; a growing number of recruiters are recognising benefits of ‘flexi-time’.
Whilst clearly a desirable concept, many are doubtful as to how well this scheme can work in reality. In order to combat potential problems that this favourable scheme of work may lead to, CEO of Baltimore Consulting Charmaine Vincent, suggests numerous approaches. For example, companies looking to enforce this sort of work schedule should ensure each employee is able to work flexible, not selected staff members only. Moreover, Chamberlain suggests putting in place set communication methods for staff to communicate whilst not in the office. The CEO also recommends employees have a ‘flexible attitude to flexible working’, stating some employers may prefer to work, or work best, in the office.
CEO of technology recruiter MRL, David Stone, has trialed flexible working for six-months (a four day week instead of a five day week) and says the results were in favour of flexible hours. The premise behind Stone’s trial was that ‘good people are never going to leave, and more good people will want to join’. Stone goes on to say that the loss of a week day has proved no difference in the reaching of sales targets.
The benefits of flexi-time go on; single parents or those who cannot commit to standard working hours will be able to apply for roles with fliex-time. This means that by dropping standard working hours you are opening your company to a new lease of talent.
Clearly, the benefits of ditching the 9-5 working schedule are multi-faceted. Companies looking to increase their staff retention or open their doors to fresh talent may benefit from looking to drop the typical work day.
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