With the introduction of The Flexible Working Regulation, that came into force 30 June 2014; every employee (after they’ve completed 26 weeks of employment service) has the statutory right to ask to work flexibly – this can include, a request for reduced hours, change of working days, different start/finish times, job share etc.

For many SME’s flexible working is proving it really does work and can provide a win-win, with ultimately a happier workforce. In a recent report the CIPD conducted, they state: “The use of flexible working has a big impact on employees’ attitudes to work–life balance, with 65% of flexible workers satisfied or very satisfied with their work–life balance”.

Advantages of Flexible Working:

  • Increase employee retention and reduce employee turnover
  • Reduced recruitment costs
  • Improve morale, engagement and loyalty
  • Increase in employee motivation and productivity
  • Better work-life balance supporting families

It’s significant to note that there is not a requirement for businesses to accept and agree to all requests, it’s important they are all considered and reviewed fairly however in some businesses/teams the request may not be feasible.

Business reasons to reject a Flexible Working request:

  • The burden of additional costs
  • A detrimental effect on the ability of the business to meet customer demand
  • The inability to reorganise work among existing staff and the difficulty of recruiting new staff
  • A detrimental impact on quality and/or performance
  • An insufficiency of work during the periods that the employee proposes to work
  • Previously planned structure changes

Here at CitrusHR Consulting we have a small team of 6 permanent part-time employees; all doing various days and hours. We have confidence that this flexible approach is core to our business success. Ensuring clients are always well looked after, with support available whenever they need it, but also helping our employees find the balance between home and work life (which we passionately believe don’t have to be mutually exclusive).  It does sometimes make team meetings and events tricky… but we get there in the end, and this coming September we’ve all opted for an evening team meeting, good preparation for our Charity Moonwalk which starts at 10pm on 15 September in aid of Dorothy House Hospice.

We recently read about local SME Bristol based firm, 3Sixty, whom provide flexible working to their employees and additionally offer some unique perks to their staff. One being unlimited holiday days and the second an incentivised employee referral scheme (employees can get paid flights to any destination upon a successful candidate securing a role within the business).

One of the Directors, Ryan, states: “The flexibility is valued by the team and has created a positive team culture.”  This certainly takes flexibility to another level, so it will be interesting to watch how this holiday scheme develops as the business grows.

What business perks does your firm offer? What are your thoughts to offering unlimited holiday to your team? Do you offer Flexible Working? We’d love to hear from you. Please get in touch with us direct: CitrusHR Consulting, call us on 0844 854 6704 or email us at info@citrushrconsulting.com