How to become a more flexible employer

Flexible working is on the rise, giving employees flexibility on where, when and the hours they work. This reassessment on the ways of working has come about due to globalisation, increased competition, changing technology and continued pressure on businesses to reduce costs. These factors in addition to the tight labour market have led many employers to explore alternative methods of organising work.

Some of the most popular types of flexible work practices are:

  • Part-time working: work is generally considered part-time when employees are contracted to work anything less than full-time hours
  • Job-sharing: a form of part-time working where two (or occasionally more) people share the responsibility for a job between them
  • Flexitime: allows employees to choose, within certain set limits, when to begin and end work
  • Mobile working/teleworking: this permits employees to work all or part of their working week at a location remote from the employer's workplace
  • Career breaks: career breaks, or sabbaticals, are extended periods of leave – normally unpaid – of up to five years or more.

What has a company to gain from introducing flexible working?

Flexible working presents an opportunity for businesses to increase, obtain or retain competitive advantage. The benefits to be gained include:

Productivity: Flexible working allows a better match of business resources with the demand for services. In addition, employees are more engaged as they appreciate the business’s facilitation of their request to work flexibly.

Cost savings: A fully remote workforce means no expenses for office space or equipment, and the ability to hire from areas where competitive salaries are less for equally talented candidates.

Increased ability to attract and retain high-quality talent:  As the economy nears full employment, smaller businesses are finding it difficult to compete with its larger counterparts in attracting or retaining high performing employees. However, offering flexible working can be a real selling point for potential candidates.

It is clear that working in a more flexible manner has the potential to offer organisations practical solutions to not only meet the evolving needs of their workforce, but also control operational costs, while finding competitive advantage in greater customer focus and innovation.

If you are interested in learning more about flexible working and how you could implement flexible work practices in your business then come along to our free SFA event on 27 September. For further information, contact Ciara McGuone on or 01 605 1668.

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In this issue
SFA E-Zine – The Tuesday Edition
Recent press coverage
How to become a more flexible employer
Subsidised training in key skills for the international financial services sector
Brexit developments: SFA meets Copenhagen Economics
Taking Care of Business event launched
DIT career services to industry
Keynote speaker: Jason Sherlock - how to get the most from a flexible team
The Workplace Relations Act - SFA Employment Law Conference
Book now - SFA Annual Lunch 2017
Are your managers prepared for end-of-year appraisals?