UK companies should embrace flexitime

Under new rulings announced last month, all 30 million British workers now have the right to request flexible hours.

By David Walker, managing director  of +24 Marketing.

There are bound to be some employers who greet the news with trepidation, however I think it is a huge step in the right direction.

Working in the creative industry, part of my team is based all over the UK. We’re lucky - as web designers and marketers, we can work anywhere, as long as we have the technology.

And for all companies who are concerned, they should consider how that technology can be used to help them become more efficient and successful.

Here, in my opinion, are the top 4 reasons why flexi-time should be embraced:

1. It increases trust If you allow your staff to work remotely now and then, they are being given trust and autonomy - and there is no greater incentive to working well. My staff know they are trusted to manage their workload: I don’t care where they are, as long as the work gets done.

2. It saves time We do have an office in Burnley, and I’m usually based there. Most of the team work part of the week there as well, as I do value face to face interaction. But we have our Monday morning meetings on a Google Hangout - it means we all start the week updating each other on our actions and plans, without wasting time travelling. I’m a huge fan of meetings being held over Skype and Google. There is less chat and more work.

3. It makes people happy If flexible working is something a good employee has asked for, wouldn’t retaining that employee if at all possible be the best option? A happy workforce is proven to be a more productive and creative workforce and that is certainly something I’ve found.

4. It can all be tracked This sounds like I’m contradicting the trust point, but the fact is, time is billable. Technology helps in this way - your staff can log the hours they have spent on each job and everything is monitored. It ensures people still think commercially and efficiently.

It won’t work for everyone. But being fair to all of employees, whether they are parents or carers or not, is very important - and where it is practical, flexi-time offers more positives than negatives by some way.