Our lives are getting busier. Our commutes are getting longer and becoming more stressful, and we continue to squeeze as much as possible into our evenings and weekends. Yet, our working days are getting more demanding and the time we have to juggle both our personal, and professional lives seems to be even more restricted.
As highlighted in our article 'Six days for the price of five: unpaid hours in finance,' a study by trade union, GMB, found that one in four professionals in the public sector work an average of eight hours unpaid overtime each week. This is equivalent to an average of £6,000 or a 24% pay rise. Maintaining a positive work-life balance is a key factor for employee happiness. Because of this, and in order to better work around personal lives and work demands, dynamic working which was once a somewhat unfamiliar term, is now a highly sought after workplace benefit. In fact, our research has found that 66% of professionals working in banking and financial services would like to see flexible working hours offered by their employer and 53% also listed work from home options in their top three desired benefits. However, just 26% of those surveyed had actually be given the option to work from home.
Why is it important?
A recent study conducted by PageGroup found that millennials expect flexible working to be offered as standard in the workplace and not as an additional benefit. When we asked which benefits they wanted to see offered in the next five years, flexi-time was the most popular answer (67%), followed by ‘flexi-place’ (57%), and compressed work weeks (54%). In addition to this, time in lieu (49%) and career breaks (41%) were high on their list too. However, this doesn’t mean that those who fall outside of this age group don’t equally enjoy the benefits of dynamic working or want them to be included as part of their working life.
The ability to plan work around personal life events allows individuals to better organise their time, take care of their physical and mental wellbeing, and ensures that they are in the best position to manage a productive work schedule. As we are in a candidate-short market, it is important good people are retained. Being able to adapt to the changing motivations of employees to drive forward retention in later years is key.
The pros of dynamic working
The benefits of introducing a dynamic working policy are varied and can have a significant impact on business performance. Our article ‘Flexible and dynamic working’ explores the key benefits to both employees and employers. Here are some of the potential positives of a flexible/dynamic work culture.
Benefits to employees
- Job Satisfaction
- Improve work-life balance
- Reduce travel time
- Increased productivity
Benefits to employers
- Staff engagement
- Talent attraction/retention
- Reduced costs
Each company will experience different positives according to the needs of their staff and overall business. The lifestyles of your employees will often change and it is essential to keep up with these shifting needs of your staff. People are more inclined to adapt if you provide the flexibility of dynamic working as it delegates them more accountability for their work. Happier people are happier employees and this is not only great in terms of productivity but it can also go a long way in roles that are client facing or involve a lot of interaction with customers.
How to introduce dynamic working
What’s important to remember is that flexibility in the workplace is defined differently by everyone, what works for one person may not work for another. The key to success is to ensure that it is tailored to the individuals in the workforce and that they have the option to choose what is important to them.
Managers should aim to develop a comprehensive understanding of how different arrangements can benefit different people and how to successfully manage those who are working dynamically. To help facilitate this understanding, dynamic working training should be offered to your leadership team. The way in which your business leaders approach dynamic working will set a standard for your teams, so be sure everyone is on the same page with exactly what flexible working really aims to accomplish.
It is also important to remember that not all dynamic working arrangements will be suited to every type of role. Assess each request on a case by case basis and if possible, offer individuals the ability to choose their start and finishing times, or come in earlier to make up for an early finish as a basic level of flexibility. Regular work from home days or alternate work days however, would require more of an assessment of the role and output and resources available would need to be considered.
There are now a number of training courses available for managers which could be of benefit to explore. However, as highlighted by Barclays, the secret to maintaining a positive dynamic working culture is to ensure it remains flexible rather than scheduled.
If you would like any more information, or to discuss how we can help with your recruitment processes, get in touch with your local Michael Page office. Alternatively, submit a job spec and one of our specialist consultants will be in touch.
Managing Director, Michael Page