If there was one area of near universal agreement post the covid pandemic, it is that people overwhelmingly prefer flexible work schedules, whether this is adopting flexible hours, or work from home options or supporting the hybrid working model.
At Bain and Gray, we offered flexi hours for our team before 2019. Post Covid we asked our employees what they wanted, so balancing employee preference and business needs, we created our hybrid model with added flexi hours. This has been in place for nearly 18 months, we can see the benefits to our team. It has certainly improved well- being but also aided productivity.
Being at the front line in recruitment, amid the great resignation, we have noticed that candidates are reluctant to apply for positions that don’t offer some kind of flexibility. Some candidates will consider a decreased salary to trade off against a hybrid or flexi working office. Hybrid and Flexi working aren’t the same thing. Hybid is more about where you work and flexi working is when?
In short companies can’t ignore flexi working if they want to attract and retain talented people. It’s all about a smart day – so organising a workload without focussing on the hours spent sitting at a desk. By not limiting work to a specific range of time, employees can find they ways they work best.
The benefits are huge for both employee and employer. We have always tried as employers to prioritise employee well being and there is no doubt, with hybrid and flexi working, there is a better work-life balance, and improved health and well being. This in turn increases productivity and job satisfaction. The obvious decreased commuting costs and generally a better living standard. Flexible schedules can prevent burnout caused by overworking.
We as a business owner, can see the benefits when hiring for our team, and also with employee retention. Offering flexi working strengthens employee loyalty and hopefully encourages long term commitment which in turn boost morale.
Whilst there are endless benefits for flexi and hybrid working, you must as employers ensure the right structure is in place to maintain the company culture. Effective Communication is key and clear and transparent expectations must be in place. Ensure colleagues and clients know when you are in and out of the office.
Of course not all companies/industries can offer this hybrid flexi model as flexible working schedules wouldn’t work but if some flexibility is offered, there is no doubt the benefits can be huge.