3 Reasons Why Small Businesses Need to Embrace Flexible Working

At the end of June 2014, a new law came into force granting employees the right to request to work flexibly.

Since 2014, flexible working is a practice exercised by thousands of employees, with employers happy to accommodate those wishing to readjust their work/life balance.

However, some business owners are still unware of these changes, while others are just simply not on board with the idea of flexible working.

There are a host of reasons why small businesses should accommodate employees who wish to work flexibly, from increased productivity to lower costs.

We’ve included below all the reasons why encouraging flexible working within your small business can turn your employees into even more of an asset.

Increase productivity

According to a survey undertaken by CIPD last March, 83% of businesses found that adopting flexible working increased productivity of employees within their company.

If that isn’t reason enough to encourage all your employees to work from home this instant, we don’t know what is.

Giving staff flexibility to manage their own schedule and complete work by fitting it in around their home life will mean they need less time and pay give more concentration to the work they produce.

Build trust

Some employers doubt the effectiveness of flexible working because they simply don’t trust their employees.

If this is the case, it’s a good idea to be more vigorous in the recruitment process, and offer employee benefits that they may not get with other employers.

While we aren’t suggesting you push employees out the door by forcing flexible working on them, making sure they’re aware it is an option with your company can create a open environment where staff feel comfortable about speaking to you.

If you encourage employees to work flexibly, and are even the one to bring it into conversation, you will build a stronger relationship with them as they will value your trust.

This can lead to a more productive environment and a healthier workforce morale.

Reduce overheads

Whether you’re allowing employees the option to work from home or instead hire freelancers rather than employers, the freedom of working from home can work wonders for the purse strings of your company – something every small business owner should have a close eye on!

Employees who work at home won’t need a desk, computer and other equipment or amenities that come with their position – they’ll be able to provide this all for themselves.

Luckily for you as a small business, that’s even more of a reason to introduce flexible working into your company.

Employees’ Rights

Every employee who has been with your company for a minimum of 26 weeks now has the right to apply for flexible working. Each request must be handled by employers in ‘a reasonable manner’.

If you don’t feel happy granting an employee the right to flexible working, you must do so on the grounds laid out by HMRC.

If you do reject an employee’s application to flexible working on any of these grounds, they have the right to appeal the decision.

Are you embracing flexible working in your small business? Or are you struggling to see the benefits? Share your views in the comment section below or catch us over on Facebook!

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