Do it right: Flexible working

Let your employees work on their own terms...

Last Updated: 24 Feb 2016

Clarify terms. Research has shown that even employers get confused by what flexible working actually means. If the people in charge don't understand the term, they are going to have a hard job instigating a policy.

Tell staff about it. A drastic change in working practices can be daunting and unsettling for staff. Set aside time to explain what exactly the new flexible working policy entails - and what it doesn't.

Trust your staff. Managers can get nervous if they can't see their staff toiling away. This paranoia is often heightened during the summer when bosses worry staff are topping up their tans rather than working on that P&L. Even if you can't see employees, it doesn't mean they aren't working.

Police it properly. Set key deliverables and metrics. Most staff will shine if given some freedom, but beware the unscrupulous few who take advantage.

Get the right kit. Technology can boost staff productivity wherever they are, but it can also reassure managers that work is still being done.

Keep on top of new legislation. Anyone can ask to work flexibly, but parents with kids aged 16 and under and carers have a statutory right to have their request taken seriously. David Cameron has often talked about extending the right to request to parents with offspring under 18.

Think about the benefits. Flexible working is credited with boosting productivity, improving staff loyalty and retention and reducing stress levels.

Find this article useful?

Get more great articles like this in your inbox every lunchtime

Is it favouritism to protect an employee no one likes?

The Dominic Cummings affair shows the dangers of double standards, but it’s also true that...

Masterclass: Communicating in a crisis

In this video, Moneypenny CEO Joanna Swash and Hill+Knowlton Strategies UK CEO Simon Whitehead discuss...

Remote working forever? No thanks

EKM's CEO Antony Chesworth has had no problems working from home, but he has no...

5 rules for work-at-home productivity

And how to focus when focusing feels impossible.

Scandal management lessons from Dominic Cummings

The PR industry offers its take on the PM’s svengali.

Why emails cause conflict

And what you can do about it.