Flexible working: Striking the perfect work/life balance

Sorry Dolly Parton, it’s time we wave goodbye to the stereotypical 9-5 working day.

The flexible working pattern and global approach to a hybrid/remote way of life is now taking over, and it’s here to stay.

That’s what the research seems to show. According to TUC, four out of five (82%) of workers said that they wanted to take up some form of flexible working in the future.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to work out why. Employees are starting to prioritise their physical and mental health, spending more time with their loved ones, and to no surprise, looking to cut lengthy commute times where possible.

That’s why employers have openly started adopting flexible working arrangements. It’s a trust exercise in letting staff thrive away from the watchful office eye. A method that can increase productivity, reduce stress and enhance job satisfaction.

What is flexible working?

Simple: Being able to do your job without being tied down to set working hours.

Flexibility over where you work, when and for how long – naturally all agreed in advance with your employer of course. And all employees have the legal right to request this.

Is it part of a post-pandemic world? No. It has always existed, but it has since become the new norm, and opened employers, and Gen Z, to a new way of working.

Not so Sweet Summer Lovin’

Picture the scene. The summer holidays are right around the corner. Juggling a full-time job with the kids at home will probably be tougher than old boots. Mix together the need for attention, trips to and from activities and the occasional snack (probably best to go easy on the sugar), and you’ve got what looks like a recipe for disaster.

And to make things even worse, according to HR News, PGL Adventures recently revealed that:

  • 45% of parents have experienced burn-out trying to do it all.
  • 53% have admitted they can’t fully concentrate on their job.
  • 40% have had to miss important meetings due to holiday childcare issues.

So, what’s the solution?

Thanks to the wonderful world of flexible working, life has been made so much easier. We are now able to focus on our own health, wealth and self, something that many of us take for granted.

Sit down with your employer and discuss your situation. Data from Bright Horizons shows more than two thirds (67%) of working parents in the UK now believe a flexible approach could help them progress at work, a leap of 11 points from 2022’s figure of 56%.

Zest Chief Operating Officer Clare Reynolds is a long-term advocate of the flexible working approach, and believes it encourages employees to focus on what’s important to them.

‘At Zest we openly encourage our people to find a working pattern that works for them. Whether you’re a parent, carer or simply want to spend more time doing the things you love, maintaining a healthy work/life balance is important.

‘Modern technology has given us all the tools to connect with each other no matter where we are in the world. We believe that flexible working is a key factor in keeping employees motivated.’

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