Increased flexibility in the workplace
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Increased flexibility in the workplace

14 October 2020 By John Quirk - TMP and Ebony Armitage - YPO

dad working from home with daughter

Flexible working is a way of working that suits employers and employee needs. For example, flexible working arrangements can include having flexible start and finish times or working from home when necessary.

The COVID-19 pandemic has enforced change upon us all regarding flexible working patterns. 60% of the UK population are currently working from home due to coronavirus, with 26% of Brits planning to remain working from home after restrictions ease.

Change is not necessarily a bad thing, as statistics show that most workers find they feel they don’t need to be in an office environment and have increased productivity due to reduced distractions.

TMP, one of our LGRP suppliers, has written the below extract about the change in working patterns:

''Workin’ 9 to 5, what a way to make a livin’

Many of you will be familiar with these lyrics from this famous song released in 1980 by Dolly Parton but the recent pandemic has changed ‘fixed’ working hours forever. Having accidentally stumbled across this again last week, it gave me a chance to reflect just how times have changed.

We now live in a world dominated by technology, where a 9-5 working pattern is extremely rare and the opportunity or curse (depending on your point of view) to be accessible 24-7 is open to all.

But the next big revolution will be around flexible working. The last 5 months have changed this forever. Research just released shows more than 13 million people across the UK plan to ask their employer for changes to their long-term working pattern.

Not only this but HR directors expect 70% of their workforce will have flexible working once coronavirus restrictions are lifted, a 45% increase on current levels. The number of options and permutations available to employees is almost limitless with the Governments own website listing 8 options available including; compressed and staggered hours, part-time work, requests for flexible working and term-time work which accommodates the needs of working parents.  

The reasons for the requests cover the savings on commuting, not to mention the time it takes to get to and from work, as well as the benefits in spending more time with the family and the opportunity to lead a healthier lifestyle.   

Organisations also look to benefit with reduced costs on office space and well-documented research showing that the more engaged and happier an employee, the more productive to the company.  

This extra time at home that COVID-19 has provided us with has meant many people have looked at their working lives and their other priorities to assess what’s important to them now and in the future.

It’s taken a global pandemic for us to look to claim back that all elusive work-life balance. It seems only right that I reference the lyrics from a 1990’s band and “Things can only get better” I’m pretty sure one of the band members went on to become a rather successful Professor, Writer and TV broadcaster.'' John Quirk – Client Partner TMP Worldwide.

Many of us have had to be more flexible with life in general since the pandemic – i.e. caring for those more vulnerable, becoming home schoolteachers overnight, keeping our distance and being patient with our everyday duties. Working patterns have also shifted, we're becoming more flexible and much more remote.

It is positive to see so many organisations supporting and embracing these changes and allowing the workforce to be more flexible, delving into different working patterns and becoming accustomed to a new way of flexible working.

And as more and more of us continue with home or remote working, we thought it would be useful to put together some top tips to help you effectively work from home.

For further updates in the recruitment sector during the COVID-19 pandemic, view our recruitment blog page here

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