FLEXIBLE WORKING DAY 2024: Are you missing out?

Taking place this week on June 21st, Flexible Working Day was established in London to highlight the benefits to both employers and their teams of this way of working.

Flexible working arrangements can offer a win-win situation for both studios and employees, boosting morale, productivity, and the bottom line.

Benefits for Employees

  • Improved Work-Life Balance: Flexible working allows employees to manage personal commitments – childcare, eldercare, appointments – without sacrificing work. This reduces stress and creates a healthier lifestyle.
  • Increased Productivity: Employees who work during their peak productivity hours are demonstrably more efficient. Flexible work schedules allow individuals to tailor their work patterns to their natural rhythms, leading to higher quality output.
  • Reduced Absenteeism: A happy and healthy workforce is a less absent workforce. Flexible working arrangements can contribute to improved employee wellbeing, leading to fewer sick days and a more reliable team.
  • Enhanced Job Satisfaction: Feeling trusted and empowered with control over their schedules creates a sense of autonomy and satisfaction among employees. This translates to a more engaged and motivated workforce.
  • Wider Talent Pool: By removing geographical limitations, flexible working allows studios to attract top talent from a broader pool, including those who may not have been able to consider a traditional role due to childcare or other commitments.

Benefits for Studios

  • Attract and Retain Top Talent: In today’s competitive job market, studios offering flexible work arrangements stand out to potential hires. This is especially true for Millennials and Gen Z, who value work-life balance and autonomy. 
  • Improved Employee Engagement: Flexible work builds trust and demonstrates a commitment to employee wellbeing, leading to a more engaged and loyal workforce. Engaged employees are more likely to go the extra mile, contributing to a positive company culture.
  • Increased Innovation and Collaboration: Flexible work arrangements can create a more diverse and inclusive team environment. Employees with different backgrounds and perspectives can bring fresh ideas to the table, increasing innovation and problem-solving.

New Legal Requirements in the UK

The UK Government recently introduced new legislation that strengthens employees’ rights to request flexible working arrangements. Here’s a breakdown of the key changes:

  • Right to request from day one: Previously, employees had to wait 26 weeks before requesting flexible working. Now, employees can request flexible work from their very first day of employment.
  • Two requests per year: Employees can now submit two statutory requests for flexible working within a 12-month period, compared to just one previously.
  • Faster response times: Employers must respond to flexible working requests within two months, down from the previous three-month timeframe.
  • Consultation before rejection: Before rejecting a request, employers are now legally obligated to consult with the employee and explain the reasons for their decision.

You can find out more here.

Implementing Flexible Work Arrangements

The key to successful flexible work implementation lies in clear communication, well-defined policies, and trust. Here are some tips for studios:

  • Identify Suitable Roles: Not all roles are suited to flexible work. Analyse tasks and responsibilities to determine which positions can function effectively with flexible schedules or remote work options.
  • Develop Clear Policies: Establish clear guidelines for flexible working arrangements, including core collaboration times, communication protocols, and performance expectations.
  • Invest in Technology: Ensure the necessary technology, such as video conferencing tools and secure cloud storage, is available for seamless remote communication and collaboration.
  • Promote Transparency and Trust: An open and trusting work environment is crucial for the success of flexible work. Encourage clear communication about expectations and availability.
  • Lead by Example: Management buy-in is essential. Leaders who embrace flexible work schedules set the tone for the entire organisation.

For more on creating a flexible working environment, click here.

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

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