84% of employees dream of more flexible working, but what’s in it for you – the employer?

If you are looking for ways to attract the right talent to your Hertfordshire business you might consider flexible working as an enticement tool for achieving this. In a recent survey by online recruitment platform Totaljobs, 84% of employees suggested that flexible working was one of the leading things they wished their employers would offer them. Not at all surprising, but this was just the first of many such insights that back up our own understanding of the way the local recruitment market in Hertfordshire seems to be going.

Just a few of the statistics of interest from the survey:

  • 84% of employees would love their employers to offer them a flexitime option
  • 73% of middle managers believe their staff would be more productive if they could leave earlier
  • 80% of employees suggested they would be more likely to stay with their employers if offered flexible working hours
  • 75% of employers believe that flexible working improves employee retention

What is flexible working?

Flexible working, agile working or flexible hours are all similar concepts, where an employee’s hours of work or the location they do their work from, are in some way adapted to improve recruitment, retention or productivity prospects.

A variety of ways of achieving this may include:

  1. Freedom to choose your own hours (provided that these include core working hours set out by employer)
  2. Later start and finish times to avoid the rush hour
  3. Part-time hours or job shares
  4. Earlier finish as a reward in the summertime
  5. Days off as a reward for top employees
  6. Home working hours – part-time in the office with remaining hours made up working from home
  7. Greater flexibility for childcare and health matters – perhaps offer 4 days a year as ‘personal’ or ‘duvet days’ (dentist appointments, etc. to be attended in this time)
  8. Freedom to work when and where they wish so long as targets are met

But why is it important and what’s in it for you, the employer?

While it may not be surprising that employees would prefer the option of flexible working, what’s in it for an employer? Flexible working can only be a consideration if there’s some win-win, if employers perceive there to be a benefit for them as well. Here are just a few of the reasons we’ve heard over the years:

  • Happier staff are more productive staff
  • More productive staff get more done in fewer hours
  • Valuable senior staff who previously would have had to retire early could extend their time with greater flexibility in their hours and location
  • Greater retention of existing staff, which means lower costs for recruitment and training
  • Talent magnetism. Recruiting the best staff is made easier as you become an employer of choice, offering flexible hours, making yours a company that people want to work for

Worth considering? Our recruitment services are provided to clients in need of staff from a variety of backgrounds, from finance and marketing to accounts and sales, and the one thing that helps any company in Hertfordshire – from Hitchin to Hatfield and from Harpenden to Hertford – to beat their London competition is to offer just that little bit more flexibility, a little something extra that aligns their offering to their candidate or employee’s needs.

Luke Mason is co-founder of Ellis Mason recruitment agency, helping the small to medium sized business community across Hertfordshire to find the best people for exciting roles they can excel in. If you are looking for someone new for your office, contact us today on 01462 510 148.

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