Flexible Working: How It Can Prevent Businesses Freezing


You are probably tired of reading about how flexible working is fantastic because it lowers costs and so on, but articles rarely enter into specifics. This article breaks down the idea of flexible working and presents the benefits of each variation.

Flexible Working – Allowing Workers to Pick Their Own Working Hours

If your employees have to complete full projects by certain deadlines, then allowing workers to pick their own hours may make the employee’s job easier. For example, if one employee cannot proceed because they are waiting on data/info/progress from another department, then there is no benefit to having that employee continue coming into work until the other department has produced something that the employee can work with.

Flexible Working – Allowing Workers to Pick Their Own Working Days

If your workers have family commitments, are taking college courses, or are working another part-time job, your worker will appreciate being able to pick their working days. Most companies are flexible in one way or another in this area. For example, an employee may ask for Wednesdays and Thursdays off rather than the weekend so that they may attend a part-time college course.

Flexible Working – Collaborative Efforts That Use an Online Location

Some companies have their employees working on collaborative projects where their point of contact is online. Each submit their work and their updates to the online location where the group may converse, plan, and work together to complete a project. This is especially useful if some members of the group work unsociable hours and/or if some employees have to work in the field when the others work in the office.

Flexible Working – Part-Time, Full-Time, and/or Time-Bank

Some companies allow their staff members to switch between part-time and full-time employment. This sort of setup is more typically seen in the tourist market where there is less work during off-peak seasons, but it is has also spread to companies where some employees work remotely. Some companies offer flexible working with a time-bank idea where the workers put in hours at various points during the month and are paid their salary if they achieve the required number of hours per month.

Flexible Working – Freelancers, Contractors, and/or As-Per-Need Basis

Firing people and taking them on as freelancers and contractors was a neat little trick during the 90s when office managers used the method to get around their tight staff budgets. These days, freelancers and contractors are seen as disposable employees who may be called upon when demands are at their highest because it saves paying inflated overtime wages to employees.

Flexible Working – Allowing Workers to Switch Between Remote and Office Working

This method has been tried and failed quite a number of times. It only seems to add value when different employees’ talents are needed overseas where it would be cheaper to have the employee work remotely than it would to actually send the employee out to the other country.

Flexible Working – Allowing Workers to Work Remotely

Many companies have embraced remote working in some way or another. Field salespersons have been known to file their sales paperwork in their car rather than in their office, and consultancies will often lend their employees to others by having them work over the internet rather than on site. Sending people home with work and having them report into the office at the end of the week is still mildly popular and allowing employees to work from home during off-peak seasons is also a viable remote working option for some companies.

What About Scalability?

If a business employs from form of flexible working strategy, can it be scaled up? After all, we do not hear about companies such as Capital One or Microsoft having teams of people working from home or on flexi-time. Are flexible working methods simply for struggling businesses or small-to-medium businesses?

Flexible working has a lot in common with cloud computing. Both will help with disaster recovery, both help save money, both may help lower environmental damage and so forth. As with cloud computing, the benefits you receive and the size to which you may scale are all connected to how you implement the process and how deeply you rely on it.

What About IT Outsourcing?

There are two reasons why you may like to work with the Geek IT consultancy when instituting new flexible working ideas, policies, procedures and plans. In the short-term, the Geek IT consultancy can pick up the slack during the transition from traditional working to flexible working. There are bound to be tasks that need completing and departments that need assistance, and the Geek IT consultancy can help on both fronts. During the long-term, the Geek IT consultancy can provide tools and assistance that will make flexible working a little easier, more efficient, and maybe even less costly.