Why flexible working is good for business

A recent study reveals that 75% of UK employees consider flexible working as a favourable option when deciding on a new role and over 40% of employees would choose it over a pay rise.

There are numerous articles and studies on how flexible working is beneficial to employees- but what about your business’s bottom line? In this blog we run through our top 5 reasons why empowering your employees to work when and where they want to is a win-win for employees and employers alike.

Improved diversity

Many research studies confirm that diverse workforces enhance business performance, creativity and can lead to better staff retention.

Many highly skilled employees require flexible working hours mid-career to care for children or elderly relatives, which impacts diversity within the top levels of many organisations. Enabling people to remain or return to senior positions on a flexible basis can help improve diversity and retain a range of skills, knowledge and experience within your business.

Cost savings

The average office cost per employee in the UK is a staggering £6,000 per year. Enabling employees to choose where they wish to work can improve the efficiency of your business and help bring down overhead costs by up to 30%.

The cost savings work both ways too. By limiting the number of times employees need to take a trip into the office can save on travel costs, childcare and pet-sitting. Not only that, it enables employees to live further afield and avoid inflated living costs within city centres.

Widen your pool of candidates

Research suggests that 87% of the UK’s full-time workforce want to work flexibly, however only 50% of UK employers currently offer this perk to employees.

Organisations which place importance on maintaining a healthy work-life balance have become increasingly attractive with candidates, especially for Millennials who are set to make up 50% of the global workforce by 2020.

Retain talent

 A CIPD survey estimated that about 76% of over 2,500 managers surveyed cited retention as one of the more popular employer benefits of flexible working. Offering this as an option to current employees strengthens loyalty, enhances company culture and reduces recruiting and training costs.

The survey also discovered that employees working flexibly tended to be more satisfied with their work, more likely to speak positively about the company and more productive.

Reduce sickness absence

Employees that are stressed and overworked are more likely to take time off and more likely to hand in their notice. Research studies also show that employees under pressure are less engaged in their work and less productive. A study conducted by HR consultancy Mercer found that US employee stress is costing employers over $250 billion in lost time alone.

Commuting to a place of work can also have an impact on employees’ stress levels. A study by VitalityHealth which surveyed more than 34,000 employees found that people with longer commutes were 33% more likely to suffer from depression. These workers were also 12% more likely to report issues due to work-related stress.

From having an edge over your competitors when recruiting to increased employee engagement, there are numerous benefits to adopting flexible working for your business. Ultimately, a happy workforce attracts quality candidates and it is apparent offering flexible working is an increasingly lucrative way of ensuring your business not only attracts but also retains top talent. 

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