Published: 25 Sep 2015
So it’s Friday, the last day of the working week – for most – and the last day of Working Families’ National Work Life Week 2015. And it’s a day to reflect on how we can take forward what we’ve learned over this past week.
Earlier this week we were delighted to announce the winners of our Top Employers for Working Families’ Benchmark, showcasing the most interesting, innovative and thoughtful employers, who are really making a difference to the working environment for their employees.
And this is what we at Working Families want to put out there, to all employers, the message that if you are able to be creative in the way you manage your workforce, you will see not only happier employees but also enhanced productivity.
Employees who have more control over their working patterns and hours feel happier at home. Barclays has recognised this, and in 2014 rolled out their Dynamic Work Campaign (DWC), which understood that as people have many roles throughout each stage of their lives, they need time, flexibility and energy to fulfil them all. So the DWC “refreshed” the flexible working practices already in operation by taking these life stages into account, which led to reduced costs and improved productivity.
Another forward thinking organisation, Wales and West Housing, requires all line managers to attend seven days’ training on how to build great relationships with their staff. As fairness in the workplace is one of their core values, the organisation invests in all their staff regardless of their working pattern, demonstrating that flexible working is not regarded as “lesser” than more rigid hours.
So, as an employer, #flexiworkfriday is a good day to consider who in your organisation might need flexible working:
• Parents, particularly those with young children or lone parents.
And also to remind employees about the flexibility you currently offer.
And what about your existing #flexiworkfriday staff? Here are some of the benefits of working flexibly and tips on getting the best from employees who area already working flexibly to help make the most of Flexible Friday:
• Reducing their travel time and reducing their carbon footprint – flexible working means less stress for the employee who spends time travelling to and from their office, as well as cutting the carbon emissions produced by their travel choices.
• Demonstrating trust in your employees to be productive – perhaps giving them a report on which to work which they can concentrate on whilst out of the office and without distractions from colleagues.
• Harnessing the power of technology – not only for remote working on shared documents but also for virtual meetings.
• But acknowledging that technology can mean employees are on their smart phones 24/7, so reminding them that a digital detox from Friday evening until Monday morning is a good idea!
So as we segue into the weekend, let’s reflect on what went well during National Work Life Week 2015 and take forward the exciting policies and practices we’ve heard about from our Top Employers.
Oh, and don’t forget to watch our films, with more case studies and more innovative ways employers are finding to improve productivity and employee engagement.
Have a happy #flexiworkfriday!
By Deborah Granville, Campaign Manager