What is flexible working?

Flexible working is about where, when and how long you work.

Demand for flexible working is huge.

Flexibility Works estimates that 75% of Scotland’s workforce either has or wants flexibility at work. 90% of people in Scotland say their quality of life is better with flexible working.

Flexible workplaces are becoming the norm. Employees with and without caring responsibilities expect flexibility from employers today. And for employers, it’s the smart move. Helping improve business performance and resilience and ensuring employees feel valued and motivated.

Working flexibly also directly addresses many barriers that people have to employment and career progression.

Types of flexible working

  • Remote working
  • Part time
  • Job sharing
  • Compressed hours
  • Flexitime
  • Small adjustments to start and finish times
  • Term-time working
  • Annualised hours
  • Phased retirement
  • Shift swaps

There are lots of good reasons to offer flexible working options within your organisation. Here are some examples of how different types of flexible working can benefit both business and people.

Part time

Benefit to employee

  • Balance your career with other responsibilities (often childcare/caring)
  • Portfolio working
  • Pursue other interests
  • Volunteering
  • Get ready for retirement

Benefit to business

  • Retain people/skills
  • Attract talent
  • Productivity
  • Diversity
  • Employee wellbeing
  • Employee retention
  • Reduce absenteeism
  • Support women’s career progression

Job share

Benefit to employee

  • Balance your career with other responsibilities (often childcare/caring)

  • Have a partner to brainstorm fresh ideas
  • Personal & professional support

Benefit to business

  • Retain people/skills
  • Attract talent
  • Productivity
  • Diversity
  • Employee wellbeing
  • Employee retention
  • Reduce absenteeism
  • Support women’s career progression
  • Two heads better than one

  • Provides continuity for sickness/holiday
  • More women in senior positions

Compressed hours

Benefit to employee

  • A little more time at home to focus on personal commitments

  • Retain full time salary

Benefit to business

  • Retain key talent
  • Happier employees

  • Employee retention
  • Productivity

Remote working

Benefit to employee

  • Focus on a task

  • Increased productivity

  • Travel time and cost
  • Take care of deliveries/home emergencies
  • Improved wellbeing

Benefit to business

  • Business continuity
  • Cost saving

  • Productivity
  • Happier employees
  • Employee wellbeing

Small adjustments to start and finish times

Benefit to employee

  • Enables personal tasks ie school run

  • More control over your day
  • More productive on your own terms
  • Manage personal appointments

Benefit to business

  • Productivity

  • Employee loyalty
  • Employee retention
  • Employee wellbeing
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