Why Flexitime Works Best for Well-being and Business at JH
According to one study, flexibility is among the top three priorities for what employees are looking for. This actually comes as absolutely no surprise at all to us. We know the hugely positive impact that working flexibly has on us here: our work, our life, the lives of our family and other loved ones. Really, we can’t overstate the power it has. We wrote a blog recently on mental well-being at work, and we were touched by how many of you engaged with it, our flexible approach to working is a fundamental part of how we nurture wellness holistically here.
Smashing the 9 ‘til 5
We feel there’s absolutely no reason for agency life to be 9 ‘til 5. Or, worse still, as many agencies would have it, 9 ‘til incredibly late. 56% of people working in the UK either want or need flexitime. Reasons for this vary, and include everything from wanting to make the morning school run to fitting in a pre-work workout. Here, we don’t ask and certainly don’t judge. Some people might just not feel their best before 9am and are far better off starting at 10.
The work-life balance case for flexible working is obvious, but so too should the business case be – or actually, there shouldn’t be a distinction. People thrive (and work best) when they’re in control of their lives, and able to feel fulfilled in all areas.
I enjoy being able to pick the hours which mean the best work/life balance for me. That shift of an hour or two in the morning or evening can make all the difference to a happier and healthier day. Jodi Warren, Front-end Developer at JH.
Under our flexitime programme, there is a core period when everyone’s expected to be working – between 10am and 4pm. This means there’s plenty of time for meetings and calls that depend on one another. The remainder of the working day is flexible, in which employees freely manage their time.
Let’s talk about some of the main benefits as we see them:
Miss the traffic
Some of our team come from far afield to work here. Being able to miss out on heavy rush-hour traffic can give them an extra hour to play with. Our flexible approach also means we have work-from-home days, again a massive benefit for many reasons, not least though for those who live further away, being able to have a day or two a week away from traffic standstills, or having to fight for a seat on a busy train.
If you’re a working parent, juggling a job with family commitments isn’t easy. School runs, poorly kids off childcare… sometimes the juggling seems impossible.
But, it can be made easier. Working on a flexible schedule allows the time parents need to manage – without affecting work. Being able to alternate hours so suit family life, working some later and some earlier days for example. We’ve written more about how we nurture working parenthood.
We spend far too large a proportion of our lives at work to be unhappy with it. Flexible working can mean improved mental health, because it gives you control. That’s control over the hours spent working, being able to determine your own schedule, and therefore the control in the rest of your life to fit in what’s needed to make you feel whole. Flexible working reduces anxiety and stress, as it means more opportunity to spend time doing the things that make us relaxed, and time with the people we love.
Juggling commitments is an unavoidable feature of life today, but flexible working can mean strengthened relationships, a better work-life balance, even being able to get more sleep, all having a direct impact on mental health.
“It means not having to make sacrifices. Be that personal for work, or work for personal – you can reach the balance that works best for you without having to compromise. In summary, it’s awesome and it let’s you be awesome.” Rebecca Brocton, Ecommerce Solutions Specialist at JH.
The body’s clock
Imagine this: You’re up at 6:30am, ironing your shirt, rushing around frantically ready for the rush hour (make that rush hour and a half) you get to sit in each and every day. Not a great start. With flexitime you work to your rhythm.
Whilst flexible working perhaps has its most clear advantages for parents, that’s not to say it’s not a big plus for the young and single either. Anyone who has had to leave the house at 7.30am after a heavy night out will know what we mean. Having time to sleep off a slight hangover in the morning makes sense to everyone involved surely!
In spite of the fact that since 2014 workers have had the right to ask for flexible working, it seems unfortunate that most UK employees still work in a way that’d be familiar to their parents and grandparents – in spite of the fact that cloud technology means most of us could do our jobs from whenever, wherever we are.
For flexitime to work, and for it to be adopted in the first place, there needs to be a cultural shift within an organisation. And this is centered around trust. Bosses need to judge their team on output, and not on the fact they are at their desk in the office during a predefined time. This kind of trust transforms what it’s like to work somewhere, it gives employees independence and a sense of ownership over their tasks – unsurprisingly they work harder, achieving more.
“Being able to start and finish at a time of your choosing is about more than just convenience, it demonstrates a compassion for the staff and trust in their judgement that advances the company culture.” Joseph Russell, Head of Design at JH.
Keeping our Best Happy
Modern, progressive businesses know that flexible working boosts productivity and morale, and helps keep top their best people. For the individual, it means greater control over working schedules and the freedom to bridge the gap between professional and personal life. For businesses, adopting more flexible ways of working can boost all-round team satisfaction and therefore improve overall productivity and reputation.