Flexible Working

Hello all, 

I’m looking to undertake a research project around flexible working as we all find the ‘new normal.’  I’d like to find out how this currently works for your organisation…

How have you made the transition to flexible working? 

What have been the benefits to your organisation?

Is it possible to sustain high growth with this type of working method? 

Any advice that you can give about how it works for you would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you for taking the time to read my post.

  • Good luck with your research project Kelly. As a local authority maintained school we have a Flexible Working policy and all staff, regardless of length of service are entitled to make the request. We follow the ACAS guidance at all times but have very successfully been able to grant many of our requests to support colleagues into remaining in work. I always talk staff through the process to answer any immediate questions but also ask them to talk about what their compromise point is which gives us all a greater deal of flexibility. On occasion we have had to refuse the request but will make a counter offer on what might be more acceptable. I think being open to suggestion is key - be prepared for reluctance from some managers/leaders but get them to explore why that is. One of my mock exam questions for Level 7 LMP was around part time leadership staff and my answer was very much that I would far rather have 50% of an excellent, engaged person that 0%.
  • In reply to Sarah Trueman:

    That's great Sarah thank you for sharing this.
  • Hi Kelly

    The organisation I work for is in social care/the third sector. Like many other organisations we have had lots of employees working from home for a prolonged period. We had also started to receive a number of formal flexible working requests as people were seeing the benefit it brought to them and our point of view was that there were clearly no statutory reasons for refusal on the basis that people were able to demonstrate that they were able to make it work.

    We've ultimately had to decide whether we want to lead or follow with this, so we have taken the decision to implement a number of flexible/agile working measures including home working, core hours and compressed working week (OK, some of which we have been operating 'informally' since March) but it really comes down to this: we recognise that the world has changed and the way we work has changed, probably permanently, as a result of that.

    I think we see the benefits as making a commitment to supporting our people to work in a way that works for them and us, hopefully it will also have a positive impact in terms of recruitment and our reputation as an employer.

    I appreciate that it presents different challenges for different sectors and industries and I think that ultimately, each organisation has to find what's right for them and their people.

  • Hi Kelly
    The term 'flexible working' is very broad. Identifying the specific arrangements that are likely to succeed in your organisation depends on the nature of your business and the corporate culture.
    Documented benefits (in the public domain) include increased engagement and productivity; support for a more inclusive workforce; the ability to attract scarce skills and support for progressing women into senior management roles (reducing the gender pay gap).
    It's not only possible to sustain high growth, it's typically the case that flexible working makes life easier in high growth situations for two key reasons: firstly the focus is on outputs and not hours worked and secondly because employees are better able to find work life balance and therefore at lower risk of burnout.
    Successful flexible working requires manager training so that work and employees can both be managed effectively and on an outputs basis. A review of your entire suite of HR policies to ensure they support flex is also recommended.