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Flexible work practices now ‘a given’

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HC Online | 21 Feb 2013, 12:00 AM Agree 0
Flexible work practices have moved from a ‘nice to have’ concept, to arrangements that are simply part of the furniture in modern workplaces – but have all sectors cottoned onto the expectations of workers?
  • Karen Thomas | 22 Feb 2013, 09:46 AM Agree 0
    Some of these things are still 'nice to have' but not always easy to implement. While our company allows flexible working hours, we do not have the options of recognition programs, cash/reward incentives or training programs due to finances. Our parent company is based in Spain who are going through a financial crisis and until our company here gets more projects, we cannot offer these other options. I have been trying to get a training budget off the ground for some time now without much success (but I keep trying). I would love to implement incentives etc and have some ideas on what I would like to do however it is not on the cards at the moment. The nice to haves are also often not an option for smaller companies (like ours). Flexible work hours work reasonably well as long as the office is manned between 8.30am to 5pm, though the office is often manned later due to calls to Spain. We try to implement work/life balance as staff have personal appointments, family requirements, travel etc which allows staff to work best around their commitments.
  • ej | 22 Feb 2013, 11:55 AM Agree 0
    I agree whole heartedly that flexibility is a key to engagement.

    I think larger companies are going to struggle with this; currently even in interviews unless you are in the top tier of the workforce flexible arrangements are rarely on offer.

    Younger employees especially, have seen their parents burnout and are going to choose smaller companies who offer a better lifestyle balance.
  • Judy Higgins | 26 Feb 2013, 03:39 PM Agree 0
    Sometimes it is not possible to offer flexibility; depending on the job. Try offering police, paramedics, fire brigade offices etc flexibility, it just doesn't work. Doesn't work necessarily well in 1-2 person offices, also doesn't work in areas where there are time constraints e.g. the media jobs. I manage a small team of people and do provide as much flexibility as I can, but sometimes this is at a cost to the company. Sometimes you get it back and sometimes it is taken for granted. It needs to be negotiated on an individual basis.
  • Nick | 19 Apr 2013, 07:37 AM Agree 0
    When it comes to flexible work practices there are 2 attitudes that can be taken; 1. 'It can't work', and 2. 'Lets make it work'. Achieving flexibility is not impossible, but it does sometimes require effort and mutual co-operation.
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