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  • Writer's pictureJoseph Williams

Embracing flexible working: A guide for HR professionals

Ah, the age-old battle between the traditional 9-to-5 and the evolving landscape of flexible working.

As we emerge from the throes of the pandemic, it's time for HR professionals to get real about how we work. "The great return" may be upon us, but let's face it – the presenteeism mindset didn't budge. So, how can we bridge the gap between what employees want and what companies need?

The Flexible Working Disconnect

Picture this: A recent CIPD study found that 71% of workers desire a flexible working pattern, and 69% choose a job based on the company's approach to work-life balance.

Yet, here we are, grappling with skills shortages and talent retention nightmares. It's a head-scratcher, right? Well, fear not, for the solution lies in the beauty of flexible working practices.

The Flexibility Buffet

In times of economic strain, offering a smorgasbord of flexible working options is the secret sauce to diverse talent attraction. Let's delve into the most common options:

  1. Flexitime: This classic allows employees to choose when they start and finish their workday, offering a harmonious blend of personal and professional life.

  2. Compressed Hours: Squeeze those 40 hours into fewer days, and voilà – longer weekends and a refreshed workforce.

  3. Hybrid Working: The golden child of the flexible working family, blending office and remote work for the perfect work-life cocktail.

  4. Job-Sharing: Two heads are better than one, right? Split a role between two employees and watch the productivity soar.

  5. Term-Time Working: Ideal for parents or anyone with a passion for synchronising their work schedule with the school calendar.

Transparency is Key

In the quest for top-tier diverse talent, it's time to get serious about flexibility. You don't have to offer everything, but as with accessibility, it's key to be upfront and transparent about your flexible working options.

Break the ice by fostering an open dialogue about flexible work options. It's not just a perk; it's a part of the modern work culture that benefits everyone. Outline them in your job advertisements and on your careers site, and watch as the floodgates open to a wider talent pool.

Winning the War for Talent

The companies that emerge victorious in the war for talent will be the ones who wholeheartedly embrace flexible and remote working. Sure, face-to-face interactions have their place, especially for senior roles and collaborative team development. But let's not forget that trust, autonomy, and engagement are the secret sauce of productivity, motivation and retention and can also be nurtured in a flexible environment.

The times are changing, and so should our approach to work. Flexibility isn't just a trend; it's the key to unlocking a workforce that's engaged, satisfied, and ready to conquer future challenges. So, let's embrace the flex and lead the way into a new era of work.


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