Marie Wheatley, Group Head of HR at Daisy Group, discusses research that suggest flexible working can help make HR's job easier.
Mobile, flexible or remote working – call it what you want but the concept is nothing new. It’s something I’ve spoken about before and something that I’ll undoubtedly write about again.
Although the business benefits are seemingly obvious, it’s arguably the HR department that has to adapt the most in order to embrace the policy. As staff work off-site, questions are inevitably raised about how productive they will be without supervision.
But research from Regus – which interviewed 2,600 business owners and chief executives – has suggested that utilising flexible working schemes can actually make HR’s job easier.
The survey found that:
- 79% of candidates would pick a job with flexibility over one without
The policy can improve the chances of finding an ideal candidate, as flexible working is becoming an important factor for many people when they look for a new job (as commuting becomes the norm).
- 74% believe flexible working improves employee retention
The policy can aid in staff retention; thus reducing the hassle and workload of having to constantly search for new employees.
- 73% said flexible working lowers stress levels amongst staff
The policy can help lower stress levels amongst staff, some of whom may prefer to work from home on some days to accommodate busy personal lives (having kids for example).
The benefits to HR departments may seem obvious, but how easy can the policy be implemented?
In terms of the technologies needed the answer is pretty simple. Reputable business communications providers will be able to supply the smartphones and cloud-based solutions that your staff require. This will help ensure they can complete everyday tasks from wherever they are working, providing it possesses an internet connection.
Part of the implementation comes down to the trust you have in your employees. Do you trust your staff to work from home for the length of time expected of them?
In order to keep a track of what they’re up to, how about measuring their performance against objectives? You could also trial flexible working policies with trusted and experienced employees first in order to gauge an understanding of how it will work.
Every department and business will view flexible working differently, but there’s no doubt it’s playing a more prevalent role than ever in the HR world.