Flexibility is quickly becoming a key aspect to retaining staff and improving overall morale. You may have experienced this yourself in your own business over the past 12 months. The enforced lockdown potentially forced your hand on flexible arrangements, including working from home.
As we all begin to return to business in the office, the value of a flexibility policy is second to none. In the words of Richard Branson, “Employees come first. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of the clients.” If you haven’t already, take the time now to review how you can introduce one and enjoy the benefit of our free flexibility policy template.
What is a flexible working policy?
Off the bat, a flexible working policy is available to employees – pertaining to specific circumstances – when they have worked with an employer for over 12 months. Proven to improve and enhance productivity, motivation and satisfaction, flexible arrangements can come in many different shapes and sizes.
Examples of flexible work which may be included in your businesses policy include:
- Flexible working hours [ie. change from 9-5, to 10-6]
- Rostering system [to help avoid peak hour traffic and exposure]
- Compressed working weeks [same number of hours compressed into a shorter period of time]
- Remote work [ie. working from home]
- Time-in-lieu [compensated overtime]
- Part-time work [flexibility with a lifestyle not compatible with full-time work]
- Unplanned or purchased leave [unpaid leave deducted from salary or informal access to leave for unplanned events]
The University of Sydney’s flexibility policy is an insightful document to use as a guide, making clear the opportunities surrounding such things as remote work, working from home, job sharing and maximum periods. Their policy also reiterates that your staff need to adopt responsibility in terms of requesting flexibility where eligible.
This policy typically sits within your HR manual or employee handbook. Why? Because it should be part of your business’ bible, so your staff comfortably understand what freedoms are afforded to them.
Why does my business need a flexible working policy?
Put simply, employees don’t want the foosball table or the bean bags in order to be happy. Instead, “71% want the option to work remotely, citing a better work-life balance (60%), reduced transport costs (47%), and lower carbon footprint (35%) as the biggest influencing factors”.
By introducing a flexibility policy into your workspace, you’re fostering a culture built upon the foundations of positivity and satisfaction, as opposed to strict structure and rigidity. Inadvertently, you’re also accessing the opportunity to cut down on costs, de-densify your office and continue to meet client demands.
Another study has shown that for one particular business, there was a , 9.2% increase in time spent [due to less punctuality] and a 9.9% increase in wages, all due to introducing flexible working arrangements.
Erring away from traditional office spaces, coworking spaces offer the convenience of hot desking, it’s a simple and cost-efficient way of meeting the call for flexibility. It means your staff can work collaboratively and autonomously, without hampering the office budget or culture.
Here’s a free flexibility policy template
Use our complimentary flexibility policy as a guide on what you can integrate into your business.
If it wasn’t clear before, we’re big fans on a flexibility policy, with data reiterating the value of upholding this in any workplace. We hope this guide helps you introduce an efficient method of managing flexibility in your workplace. If you want to learn more about how our serviced offices and coworking memberships can help your teams with greater work-life balance, talk to us today.