Flexible Working? But What Does That Really Mean?

Flexible working seems to be a definite trend of 2017, and as I wrote in my last blog (Has The Tide Turned), certain employers are starting to listen, take note and offer it as standard.

However, what do we actually mean by ‘flexible working’ and what would work for you personally?

Statistics about flexible working are always being thrown out – such as 90% of people think that flexible working is the way forward. However, flexibility is actually quite a broad subject and one size doesn’t necessarily fit all.

Firstly, it is important to state, that ALL employees have the legal right to ask for flexible working (as long as you have been with your company for at least 26 weeks) and employers are legally required to assess the pros and cons of the request, have a meeting with you to discuss and be open to the appeals process. An employer is well within their rights to decline your request if they can prove that there is a good business reason as to why they can’t offer flexible working to you.

If you are going to ask for a flexible working arrangement, it is important for you to understand the different ways you could work flexibly and know which one would work best for you and your family.

  1. Part time – working fewer hours, sometimes across fewer days
  2. Compressed hours – working full-time hours but across fewer days
  3. Job share – 2 or more people work the same job but across different days
  4. Working from home – either working all days or selected days out of the office
  5. Flexitime – an employee can choose when they start and finish work, as long as they are at their desk for core hours eg 10-3, or work an agreed number of hours per week

If there is one piece of advice I can give when asking for flexible working, it’s to do it with confidence. Too often people ask for it in an apologetic way, which immediately puts you on the back foot with your employer. Ensure you have done your research in terms of which flexible working option would be best for you and then put the case forward, making it absolutely clear what you are proposing in terms of days, hours etc. Make sure you sell the idea to them and make it obvious that you have put a lot of thought into how you can make it a win-win scenario for both.

That’s it for now, I hope you found this useful – if you would like to find out more, drop me an email, subscribe to our newsletter, follow us on social media and check out the other articles on our website.