Could offering flexible working retain current staff and attract new talent?

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Could offering flexible working retain current staff and attract new talent?

The year 2020 taught us many things. We’re stronger than we think, we don’t need to hoard as much loo roll as the media would lead you to believe, and we can actually work remotely if we need to. Along with its pressures and newfound ways of working, it proved that many of us do, in fact, have the skills and technology to effectively work from home.

<a href='https://www.freepik.com/vectors/business'>Business vector created by stories - www.freepik.com</a>Remote working is something that many businesses didn’t consider before the pandemic hit in early 2020. By the end of March, the Prime Minister had ordered the majority of workers to set up in their back bedroom and learn to adapt to a new normal.

At the time, it was a daunting situation for many employees, let alone their employers. How would you set up to work in a home environment? Could you get as much done? Would you be distracted?

For businesses there was always the worry of being able to motivate and support their teams working remotely. Managers want to appear sensitive to the ongoing situation, without wanting to look like they don’t trust their staff or believe they are working hard. Checking up on staff and not giving them some trust and leeway is not conducive to a good working relationship – 2020 has shown us that, too.

2020 has shown that we can all knuckle down and work hard in a remote environment, if we’re tasked with having to do so. Many of us do crave being back in the office environment or town centres, but does everyone?

A survey featured in The Times stated that more than a third of Brits would prefer to work from home for most of the week, even when the pandemic is over.

Employees spend less time on their daily commute, less money on lunches and coffees and generally get distracted less often than they would in a busy office. They can cut back on meetings, especially those that often see one person arriving 10 minutes late due to locations. It’s worth noting that staff feel more trusted by their employers when working from home, a degree of autonomy to get their tasks done will increase morale and productivity.

For an employer, there are many benefits to offering flexible working. There are a number of factors; from boosting staff wellbeing, attracting talent who are now thriving in a remote-working environment, and the convenience of online working. Let’s not also forget that remote working will save on office space and utilities (your employees can claim some tax relief for home working.)

Studies have also shown that productivity, morale and wellbeing are boosted by flexible working. Staff are finding a better work-life balance; rather than saving all chores and necessities for the evening or weekend. For example, a dishwasher can be emptied at lunchtime. No commutes mean that employees get additional sleep, time to prepare healthy meals or to go for breaks.

To show that you’re a flexible employer, look at how adapting to this way of working could benefit your business in future. Invest in good remote-working systems like Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Slack etc. These tools make conversations and working with colleagues easier, more efficient and effective; meetings can often take much less time.

We have a range of candidates who are looking for a flexible role, so we can speak to you directly about some individual cases. We’re also working remotely and flexibly ourselves, so we can offer advice from a business-side, too.

As the turbulent year of 2020 is now over, we can look at a time that there was a remote working revolution and take that experience into the future workplaces.

As always, we’re here to help and advise our clients and candidates on best practice when it comes to recruitment and retention. Just drop us a line on 0114 321 1873 or hello@glurecruit.co.uk to start a conversation today!

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