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What does flexible working mean to you?

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7 months ago by Leilani Reader

What does flexible working mean to you?

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Last month, we put together a blog post, focussing on the implementation of a flexi-working policy, however, following on from conversations with our clients, it has become evident that flexible working means different things to different people.

A small insight into our agency – our flexible working policy allows staff to take half an hour in the morning to attend a school meeting and work it back when they can. It means a change in hours to accommodate for a difficult commute. It is the ability to work from home when having a bad mental health day. Our policy is inclusive, open and agile. It is there for everybody and anybody.

As we discussed in our last flexi-working blog post, it is important to define what you mean when you advertise a role as flexible, and be able to answer questions truthfully and in-depth should the candidate query it at interview stage.

It’s important for both you and the candidate to have a clear understanding about what your flexible working policy is from the start. It helps you both decide if they are a right fit for your firm culturally and in the long term. We have summarised a few key terms covered by the umbrella of flexible working to give you food for thought when outlining your policy.

Remote working – Commonly referred to as working from home, remote working means an employee can work away from the office for an agreed time, perhaps one day a week or adhoc depending on childcare. There are implications involved in working away from the office, which will involve the support of your IT and Data Protection teams, so ensure the systems are in place and stable before you agree to remote working.

Part time working – Most commonly overlooked, part time working is still considered a flexi-working request. It allows staff to accommodate their responsibilities and hobbies outside of the work place by working less hours over the week. Part time working is considered anything less than 32 hours a week.

Condensed hours – Also referred to as compressed hours, this is often requested to enable the employee to have more free time but with no detriment to their work load or salary. Condensed hours are an employee’s ability to work full time hours into longer days, so for example, 70 hours worked in 9 days, allowing the employee to take 10th working day off.

Core hours – The base of most company-wide flexible working policies, core hours are determined by the employer, and employees are expected to adhere to them and choose to make up the rest of their hours how they like. Many modern companies employ this tactic, allowing staff to work when they are at their most productive.

Job-sharing – A fairly new introduction to the flexi-working family, job sharing allows two people to split a full-time role, agreeing hours and responsibilities between themselves. This is a slightly trickier request, and communication between job-sharers really is key, to ensure the role runs smoothly and nothing gets lost in translation.  

With over 77% of British workers now saying that the opportunity to work flexibly will determine their next job move, now really is the time to consider, determine and promote your flexible working policy.

LR Legal is a bespoke recruitment agency, offering a comprehensive service for law firms and businesses, across all sectors. Get in touch to find out how we can help you.