As issues caused in recent years begin to dwindle, many employers are keen to leave the age of flexible working behind and welcome staff back into the office.
Some of the world’s biggest brands, from Amazon to Tesla, are actively calling people back into work following years of hybrid and remote employment. These business leaders often believe traditional, in-office work is the best way to preserve high levels of productivity, improve relationships between employees, and improve collaboration and innovation.
However, by turning away from flexible working opportunities, companies could be causing serious damage to their recruitment strategy. Not only do rigid employment options now reduce the pool of candidates employers have to choose from, but they can also make roles less appealing to today’s top talent. Approximately half of today’s staff members, according to research in people management, said they would consider quitting a job if it didn’t offer flexible working opportunities.
Why Flexible Working is Beneficial to Employers and Employees
Opinions on the benefits and drawbacks of flexible work vary in the accountancy landscape. Some business leaders believe their staff members deliver the best results when they’re working within the office. Others have already seen the benefits flexible working can offer and are willing to continue exploring new options, from hybrid work to the four-day workweek.
It’s also worth noting that flexible work has become an expectation for many employees in many parts of the world. In the UK, every employee has the legal right to request flexible working opportunities after 26 weeks of employment.
However, preserving flexible working opportunities isn’t just a good way for employers to ensure they adhere to current rules and regulations. Used correctly, a flexible employment strategy can improve productivity, enhance company culture, and even help accountancy firms to overcome the challenges of a skill-short marketplace.
Here are some main reasons why flexible working arrangements are still important for employees and their employers.
1. Flexibility Improves Productivity
Giving team members the flexibility to choose where and how they work can significantly improve productivity.
Many accountancy staff members spend much time on highly focused work. They often feel they can leverage their skills best when they can choose the environment they work in. While some team members may work better when surrounded by others, some will prefer seeking out comfortable, quiet, and distraction-free working environments.
Flexible working arrangements can also give employees more control over how they organise their workday, allowing them to focus on challenging tasks when they feel the most productive. What’s more, flexible employees working from home can use their available time more efficiently without commutes to worry about.
2. Reduced Stress and Burnout
Today’s employees aren’t just searching for better pay and benefits, they’re also looking for a better of quality of life at work. They want to feel supported, comfortable, and respected by their employer. Flexible work opportunities can lead to better work-life balance, reduced stress, and better mental health for team members.
According to one survey published by the Health and Safety Executive late last year, the number of employees experiencing high levels of stress and anxiety is growing, and these issues are often exacerbated by the workplace. Giving employees flexible working opportunities means they have more freedom to tailor their work experience to their specific needs. This reduces the risk of burnout and increases overall employee happiness.
Additionally, because flexible workers are less likely to feel overwhelmed by the stress, they’re also less likely to call in sick and take time off when it’s not necessary.
3. Increased Job Satisfaction
Flexible working opportunities ensure employees can feel happier and more supported in their roles. A higher level of job satisfaction means employers are less likely to have to deal with high turnover among crucial accountancy professionals.
Not only do flexible workers feel more satisfied with their job, but they’re also likely to feel happier with their employers. One study found that 62% of employees felt more trusted at work when given flexible working opportunities. Nurturing trust in the workplace leads to developing a more effective, positive company culture.
When people feel trusted and happy at work, they’re more likely to work harder to deliver the right results. According to the study above, around half of all workers said they were more motivated to do a better job in a flexible working environment.
4. Greater Access to Talent
In a skills-short environment like the accountancy landscape, focusing too narrowly on hiring employees who are close enough to attend the office can make it much harder to find the people you need. Offering flexible working arrangements ensures you can hire crucial staff from numerous locations worldwide, opening up your talent pool.
Moreover, flexible working opportunities can make it easier for companies to attract and retain the talent they want most. Around 95% of employers in one study said they saw improved employee retention rates after offering flexible working options.
Access to a broader range of talented professionals isn’t just beneficial to employers – it’s also good for employees too. When companies can hire staff members from a range of environments, this leads to greater diversity, improving company culture and employee satisfaction.
5. Enhanced Continuity
Finally, offering flexible working opportunities ensures accountancy firms can preserve a level of continuity in a complex and ever-changing world. With a flexible work strategy, companies can ensure they’re able to hire professionals for a range of different roles and schedules as the needs of their customers or clients change.
At the same time, flexible working options ensure businesses can offer employees new opportunities to continue working in roles within the company when their specific needs change. For instance, as team members get older, encounter different health issues, or adopt new responsibilities, they may find they need to adopt different schedules and working strategies.
If staff members can fit their commitments to your business around the other aspects of their life, they will likely stick with your business. This means you save time and money on recruiting, hiring, and training new team members.
About Rebus Financial Recruitment
Rebus Financial Recruitment provides a specialist and focused recruitment service to its customers, which historically range from various organisations, including SMEs, to large PLCs.
We strive to offer both the client and candidate a seamless recruitment experience. Using our expertise, we get to the heart of employer and employee needs, and, in doing so, we match the two perfectly. To find out more, contact one of our team today, or you can call us on 01282 930930.