Should Your Organisation have a More Flexible Approach to Working Hours?

Should Your Organisation have a More Flexible Approach to Working Hours?

Most offices will work the standard 9-5 business hours which is considered the norm but with employees looking for a better work life balance, is there not another way?

Not all organisations stick to a 9-5 working day but they have a more relaxed, open-minded approach to how many hours their employees work every week.

Tech firm Kisi have released a report on Cities for the Best Work-Life Balance 2019 (See full report here) and the top 5 are:

  1. Helsinki
  2. Munich
  3. Oslo
  4. Hamburg
  5. Stockholm

The top 5 overworked cities are:

  1. Tokyo
  2. Singapore
  3. Washington
  4. Kuala Lumpur
  5. Houston

So how do we compare in Scotland?

Scotland’s overall performance in work-life balance and flexible working is below par compared with other UK nations and regions, according to the CIPD Scotland practice briefing.

  • Despite being the most widespread and desired flexible working option around the UK, access to flexitime (the ability to choose starting and finishing times) in Scotland is second lowest after Wales (29% have used the option compared with 34% in the UK as a whole).
  • Flexible working is seen as more career limiting, with only 10% saying it had a positive impact compared with a 16% national average.
  • Workers have more difficulty taking time off to deal with family matters than elsewhere in the UK (26% in Scotland found it difficult compared with 22% across the UK).

A marketing company in Glasgow, Pursuit Marketing, that switched 120 people to four days in late 2016 claims it has been instrumental in a 30% increase in productivity.

While this has had a lot of positive effects, there have also been some negative ones too – Some companies have found that shortening their working week has seen a rise in workplace stress due to the pressure and demand of work intensifying, resulting in an unpleasant working environment.

So maybe you can’t commit to switching to a 4-day week, what else can you do to ensure employees have a good work life balance?

  • Offer additional annual leave allowance above the statutory minimum entitlement.
  • Have a flexible working policy which is actively promoted.
  • Allow flexi-time and homeworking.
  • Consider introducing wellness days.
  • Promote a culture of ‘working smarter, not harder’.
  • Train managers to spot signs of stress and a poor work-life balance.
  • Allow staff to attend counselling and support services during working hours as they would for other medical appointments.
  • Encourage activities that promote good mental health, for example lunchtime exercise or relaxation classes.

The advice and guidance of Gravitate HR can help to facilitate this flexible approach in your organisation, and you can contact a member of our team for a further discussion.

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