“At this time of year, many parents like myself are thinking about school holidays and quality family time. But whatever the school holidays and regardless of what holiday deals we find, the reality is that there is no statutory right to have these days off, even with children.
If we would normally work on those days, then any time off needs to be booked in the usual way. Even then our options are limited to annual leave or maybe parental leave. Both can be refused, though our employers would of course allow us to take the leave at another time.”
That may have been the case 5 years ago but now thanks to the significant growth of flexible working, cloud computing and improved connectivity we can now adapt our way of working whilst still being committed to our careers.
What is Flexible Working?
‘Flexible Working’ describes a type of working arrangement which gives a degree of flexibility on how long, where, when and at what times employees work.Flexible working practices include:
Term-time working: a worker remains on a permanent contract but can take paid/unpaid leave during school holidays.
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.
Compressed hours: compressed working weeks (or fortnights) don't necessarily involve a reduction in total hours or any extension in individual choice over which hours are worked. The central feature is reallocation of work into fewer and longer blocks during the week.
Annual hours: the total number of hours to be worked over the year is fixed but there is variation over the year in the length of the working day and week. Employees may or may not have an element of choice over working patterns.
Mobile working/teleworking: this permits employees to work all or part of their working week at a location remote from the employer's workplace.
We can now use this flexibility to get that quality family time, go on our dream holidays or even drive home before rush hour to enjoy a family dinner, all whilst still being committed to our employers.
We use flexible working here at Softworks which has had a huge positive impact on my and my families lives. Here are some of the ways in which I benefit from flexible working:
Save money: By removing the necessity to commute, whether by train or car I save each day I work from home. Not to mention the money I save by making my own lunch and coffee (rather than buying).
Spending more time with my family: I found working in an office would mean leaving home before my children woke up and returning after they had been put to bed. I actually spent more time with my colleagues than my family! But through flexible working I’m able to work longer hours and still be there to put my children to bed – Priceless!
I’m the boss: I can optimize my working hours meeting (and exceeding) the demands of Softworks whilst still having time for my own. Early or late meetings with clients no longer effect my personal time.
Less stress: Commuting, traffic jams, packed trains and hours in front of a computer - Not fun or good for my health. By taking control of my time it has reduced the need for me to cram everything into office hours. Short breaks, travel outside of rush hour and eating a good healthy breakfast are all benefits of flexible working
I’m saving the planet: As a father of two I take reducing my carbon footprint seriously. Cutting out the commute might not seem like a lot but it can only have a positive impact knowing I’m doing my bit to save the planet.
Flexible working is a benefit to both employee’s and employers. People spend hours travelling to work, meetings, conferences, and spend huge sums of money on fuel or public transport. Some of the UK's most forward thinking companies have committed to flexible working after finding that 'agility' in staff hours and locations can cut workforce costs by as much as 13%. Don't business owners have more important things to spend their time and money on?
Download our free white paper: How to Strategically Use Flexible Working Arrangements to Benefit your Business.