Why Flexible Working Is The Future Of Work

Why Flexible Working Is The Future Of Work

Given that the idea of working ‘nine to five’ was conceived a long time ago – during the industrial revolution to be precise – prior to the invention of electricity, never mind the Internet, it is safe to say that the eight-hours a day, five days a week work cycle is hugely outdated.

While it may be convenient for large organisations to embrace a fixed regime of regimented hours and a single office space to enable them to retain control over their workforce, the tide is turning. With technology that allows employees to check in at any time, from anywhere, surely businesses, both large and small, can take advantage of these advances and ditch the 9-5 work week in favour of more flexible practices that align with modern day lifestyles – and show greater empathy with the individuals behind the output?

Flexible working regulations require employers to seriously consider requests to work from home from all employees who have 26 weeks of service at the date the application is made.  As a consequence, there are more employees working at home – or splitting their time between home and office – and for many businesses, it’s a system that is bringing clear benefits, as well as opening up a range of new possibilities for how they structure themselves to maximum effect.



The business becomes more efficient and productive

‘Flexible working’ goes beyond working from the spare room or a designated ‘office’ space in the house.  It’s about working from wherever you need to be, whether that’s from a café with a client, a customer’s HQ or during your commute.  Having employees who can work from anywhere, at any time, means small businesses can be more responsive.  By maximising technology such as audio and video-conferencing, and making use of the prevalence of WiFi, business opportunities can be won quickly, collaborations are strengthened and a sense of community between colleagues is enhanced – even if employees aren’t physically in the same place.


You can draw on a wider talent pool

In the new world of more flexible working, businesses, clients and employers can focus on finding the very best people for their teams –from almost anywhere.  With trust and respect as cornerstones, companies can buy in highly skilled specialists for specific tasks, enhancing the quality of their output across the board.


It builds an entrepreneurial spirit among employees

A community of talented and ambitious individuals who work remotely towards shared goals and outputs are able to connect through trust, mutual respect and empathy to create the very highest quality of work.  They are motivated by the freedom to deliver work on their terms – and it makes the business look all the more attractive to potential new recruits.


It’s good for your wellbeing – not just your career

There’s a value in loving your job, but it shouldn’t be everything.  There needs to be time for family, friends, hobbies and health.  It makes a big difference when you eliminate the pressure of ‘presenteeism’; give employees greater flexibility to work on their own terms, and their happiness levels will soar – better still, they become more productive and more inclined to stick around.  Good news for retention rates.


You can work smart, not long

Smart employers measure results, not hours; smart employers recognise productivity over presence.  Statistics set out by the Mental Health Foundation show that when working long hours, 27% of employees feel depressed, 34% feel anxious and 58% feel irritable.  It makes for dismal reading.  But giving employees the freedom to decide where they work, how they do it and when they do it – however reckless it may sound – will bring about increased productivity along with improved levels of satisfaction and engagement.

While there are certain roles and industries that lend themselves to greater flexibility in their working practices more so than others, the future of how we work is undoubtedly shifting.  It now remains to be seen just how many employers will be willing to follow the lead of Richard Branson and give their staff unlimited, unrecorded time off, then sit back and watch while they work harder and longer than ever?


About First2Recruit 

First2Recruit, are an owner managed recruitment consultancy providing a full recruitment service including; permanent and FTC positions in Accountancy Practice and Insolvency across the UK.  

Alternatively, visit www.first2recruit.co.uk or call one of their friendly team on 01722 440 168.