How flexible working can boost staff wellbeing

In 2013, more than 20 employers, including B&Q, Ford and Mitie, joined forces to launch the Agile Future Forum, which aims to develop practical support to increase flexible-working practices across the UK.

The government has also joined the effort through its Children and Families Bill, which legislates that, from 30 june 2014, all UK employees have the right to request flexible working from their employer.

Employment minister Jo Swinson says: “We want to change the culture around flexible working so that it becomes the norm in many workplaces, not a special case.

“The latest extension of the right to request to all employees will be beneficial for employers because they will reap the benefits of a motivated and efficient workforce.”

The term flexible working is used to describe many different styles of working, including part-time hours, job sharing, extended hours, working from home, compressed hours and flexi-time.

Dr Mark Winwood, clinical director of psychological services at Axa PPP Healthcare says: “It can mean a whole range of different things, and different types of arrangement will suit different people.

“The more control any of us feel we have over our working lives, the better we feel about work. Being allowed to choose hours that suit them and the business gives employees the ultimate sense of control.”

In summary:

  • The right to request flexible working was extended to all UK employees on 30 June 2014.
  • Flexible working options allow staff to be more flexible about managing their health, whether it be controlling the times they take medication, frequent the gym or cycle to work.
  • Flexible working allows employees to balance their personal life and working life.

Full article by Jennifer Paterson on the Employee Benefits website

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