Flexible working is a hot topic at the moment and one that is steadily seeping into the consciousness of traditional bosses, although it’s hard to imagine most companies taking this on as standard practice.
(I’ve found a good blog on this topic and you will find bits of the text in this post.)
All employees in the UK currently have the right to make a statutory request for flexible working (in writing), however there is no law which states this request must be approved or implemented.
I’m guessing that most employers are absolutely terrified of this being abused, imagining their staff are just lying in bed, watching TV, taking long lunches and staying logged in to chats by simply wiggling a mouse every now and then (hey, we’ve all done that one) when they are being paid to work.
The costs of having systems in place for this for small businesses could also be a turn off, ensuring employees have the right equipment to work from home and the ability to log in to your workspace online, means a move to the cloud and looking at a different way of storing and sharing documents.
Interestingly, and probably why most requests are denied, if you work different hours to those you were working before, you shouldn’t be paid less, given less holiday or any other benefits pro rata.
Having been freelance for five years now, I am 100% behind more flexible working practices. Recently I have been trying to get a part-time contract to supplement my income and I am really struggling to find something flexible enough to fit in with my lifestyle. Most jobs are still advertised as full time contracts with specified hours and limited days holidays. Not my bag.
Today for example, I got up at 9.30am (I’m no use to anyone before then), fannied around in the kitchen tidying up and moving things, I worked from 10ish until 6ish with a break to make lunch and to hoover downstairs (it needed doing, I happened to be there), then I wrote this blog and I might do some more work after.
I am certainly not lazy, I work fast, I work late and I get other shit done in the day as well. I would love truly flexible working to become the norm but I just can see the UK losing it’s 9-5 (although this actually sneaked up to 9-5.30 at some point) mindset any time soon. It’s a shame and employers are definitely losing out on some pretty epic talent (me) by not embracing this.