Today is #flexiworkday. Here’s why we should support flexible working
It isn’t always possible to stick to traditional 9-to-5 working hours – childcare, caring for friends and family, and looking after your own personal health can clash with rigid, fixed hours. In these circumstances, having a bit of flexibility in how, when and where you work can make a big difference and act like a valve, helping to relieve some pressure.Inflexible working arrangements can also throw barriers in the way of anyone that is out of work looking to unlock the door and enter or re-enter the workplace: having to contort your personal life to fit the demands of an eight-hour full-time job simply isn’t an option for many jobseekers.
These are problems that can face anyone but, at Gingerbread, we know these stresses and strains affect single parents in particular. They simply can’t drop-off or pick-up their kids from school and clock-in and out of work at the same time. The persistence of the 9-to-5, full-time working day is forcing many parents to take up part-time jobs, which generally pay less per hour than full-time work, or keeps them out of work entirely.
At Gingerbread, we don’t believe anyone should be locked-out of the career they aspire to or forced to accept low-wages just because we’ve been handed-down a traditional eight-hour working day. New technologies and new types of employment coupled with a growing awareness that a one-size-fits-all approach to work isn’t working are creating huge opportunities for flexible working, whether that involves job-shares, home working or other arrangements.
And the great thing is that it’s not just carers and parents that benefit from flexible working. Research shows that everyone stands to benefit when a workplace offers its staff the chance to work flexibly. In a poll of 2,200 business owners and managers by Regus, nine out of ten report that offering flexible working options has improved staff morale. Happier employees are more likely to feel engaged in their work: 50 per cent of businesses surveyed by the British Chamber of Commerce reported higher productivity levels after introducing flexible working arrangements. Improved work-life balance, more job openings, a better bottom line for businesses– these are just some of the reasons to support flexible working.
On Friday 12 December, Gingerbread is organising #FlexiWorkDay. Find out more at their website.