Roy Gilbert

Four ways you and your company can make flexible work better

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The world of work is fast changing. As life expectancy lengthens and labour markets shift, our working lives have become more complicated. The old expectations about how we work have become unsustainable – not least the expectation that we religiously travel to and from a fixed location ten times a week during rush hour, with all the knock-on effects that this has for carbon emissions.

Flexible work has the potential to solve many issues that see people fall out of the workforce. For employees, this means being better able to fit their jobs around other responsibilities, such as looking after children or elderly relatives. For businesses, this means retaining staff and saving the tens of thousands of pounds it costs to replace them .

Yet many remain stuck in positions with rigid working hours. One of the sticking points for employers seems to be that flexible work is equated with the one or two formats that they are familiar with – most often, letting staff work from home or work part-time. So a whole battery of ways in which flexible work could be used to align with the needs of a diverse workforce gets overlooked.

Recent research mapping the various combinations of flexible work found over 300 possible ways in which jobs could be organised flexibly. This includes job shares, compressed hours, term-time working, flexi-hours and tapered working. There is considerable scope to draw upon this host of working practices.

Here are four ways that businesses can get flexible working to work […]

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