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24-10-2019 - Mark Rice - 0 comments

We've discussed flexibility a lot recently, and it's certainly a hot topic. For employees with families, caring responsibilities, health issues, or for those who simply want a better work life balance, a flexible working arrangement can make all the difference. In the most extreme cases it means that people may be able to stay in employment when they otherwise wouldn't, while also improving staff retention, engagement and wellbeing. A permanent and formal flexible working arrangement is one way to achieve this, but it doesn't always have to get this far. There a few easy things that employers can do on a more informal basis to offer their employees greater flexibility. 

Flexible start/finish times

Offering flexible start and finish times is a great way to increase job flexibility without having to cut down on hours. As an employer you can set certain ground rules, for example x number of staff must be present during these set times, to ensure that business needs are 

met, but it gives employees the option to do the school run or fit in appointments without compromising their annual leave or upsetting colleagues. By giving teams the ability to organise their own schedules also improves engagement and communication and ensures that everyone's needs are met fairly. 

Remote Working

In certain industries it may be possible to offer remote working as an option from time to time. Working from home or at a local cafe, or even at another office or branch of the company, can help to enable employees to use their time better and juggle their responsibilities.  

Buy or Sell Holiday

The company holiday allowance doesn't always suit every employee, some need more, while others could use less. So instead of a one size fits all approach, it can be a good idea to allow staff members to buy or sell a certain amount of holiday days to better fit their lifestyle. Again it's a way of giving staff members more control over their own work schedules and hopefully can help to contribute to a healthier work life balance.  


Often employees don't need a day off or to rearrange their whole schedule, something simple like a longer lunch break can allow them to run some errands or take some well needed 'me time' without causing too much disruption to the rest of the workplace. By taking a longer break, they can then choose to start earlier or finish later to make up the time. 

Shift Swapping

Another way that employees can offer a degree of flexibility in the workplace and allow employees to exert more control over their own schedules, is to allow shift swapping. As long as there are some rules in place and people aren't taken advantage of, it can be a great way to introduce greater flexibility.

We all have lives outside of work, and it's important that employers recognise this. Offering greater flexibility in the workplace is vital to retain the best employees and allow them to enjoy a better work life balance. By involving teams in organising their own schedules, it can also improve communication and working relationships. By establishing a few rules and ensuring that business needs are met, it can be a positive boost to workplace morale and productivity. 

Have you faced issues trying to get greater flexibility at work? If you would like to start a conversation about your career, please reach out and I can help you take control of your future direction.

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