Flexibility has become increasingly important to many employees since the start of the pandemic. For some, temporary changes to working arrangements may have brought unexpected benefits, for others they may have found themselves assessing their work-life balance in a way that they might not have done before.
A poll of 1,000 UK workers, conducted by EY as part of its 2021 Work Reimagined Employee Survey found that when asked about what sort of flexibility employees wanted 43 per cent wanted choice in where they worked and 39 per cent said they would like more choice in when they work.
Trends such as these have got many employers thinking about whether making changes to increase flexibility in their organisation would be beneficial. If your organisation is one of these, one option you may be considering in relation to the ‘when’ employees work is ‘flexitime’, we look at three fast flexi-time facts below. If you are thinking about the ‘where’ employees work, please see our earlier Legal Update: HR in the Hotseat: Where Will Your Employees Work in Future?
Flexitime: Three Fast Facts
1. What is flexitime?
As the name suggests flexitime allows employees to have an element of flexibility over their working hours. It often involves flexible start and finish times within certain set limits around core working hours.
How a flexitime scheme operates will vary between individual organisations and will depend on the needs of the business and the roles of employees.
2. What are the potential benefits of flexitime?
Whilst flexi-time might not be suitable for every organisation, it can be beneficial for some employers and for employees too. It can help employees to manage caring responsibilities or simply maintain a good work/life balance. In turn, employers who offer flexi-time may find that it helps with employee recruitment and retention as employees see it as a valuable benefit as well as boosting morale which can have a positive effect on performance.
3. What is important to bear in mind if considering introducing flexitime?
If you are considering whether introducing flexitime could be a positive step for your organisation it’s helpful to:
- Assess what would work in your organisation and for which roles, including any operational matters that might need to be addressed and what the proposed rules would be
- Bear in mind that it’s important that employees are not discriminated against and that reasonable adjustments may be needed for disabled employees
- Remember that if you wish to change employee’s terms and conditions, consultation with employees will be needed.