Ways of working

It’s the year of flexible working – improve your policy now

Flexible working is on the rise. Our findings, from Regus commissioned research, found that 41% of businesses place improving flexible working policies high on their agenda this year due to increased demand from staff. 63% of our respondents also state that nowadays any job they take has to offer flexible working too.

If you’re looking to improve your staff’s work-life balance, here are a few things to think about when revising your policy.

Make your policy even more flexible: If you’re currently only offering compressed working hours, it could be time to go that one step further and offer a home or remote working option too. Businesses estimate that 43% of their workforce will demand to work from home this year. This figure reaches up to 55% in Germany and 52% in Brazil.

Don’t forget the details: It’s important to make sure that your staff understand exactly what each term in your policy means, and what is expected of them if they do decide to give flexible working a go. Let them know what they’ll need to apply, what equipment the company will provide, and, if applicable, how their new working arrangement might affect the way they pay tax.

Plan ahead: As well as explaining how a worker becomes flexible or remote, your policy needs to outline why a candidate might be rejected from your scheme. This could include anything from reasons of necessity – they’re a vital cog in your office – or if their role requires more supervision. It’s important to outline your assessment methods so that you can’t be accused of discrimination further down the line.

Educate your workers: If flexible working is new to your company, make sure everyone knows how it’s going to work. Your managerial staff might be worried that it could have a negative impact on productivity, but that’s where research and training will help reassure them. A change of scenery – whether it’s at home or a business space – can improve productivity.

Introduce trial days: Allowing your staff to work from home for one day per week before offering them full-time opportunities can help them assess whether they think it will work in the long-term. This will also give you and your managerial staff a chance to check that they’re still as productive as normal while letting them get used to working in a different environment.