The case for flexible working

Jul 02, 2015

Giving people more say in when and how they work can have big payoffs for organisations, which report happier, healthier employees as a result.

'Flexibility' is becoming a bit of a business buzz word, but how do you get the best outcomes? 

As this Huffington Post article points out, there are clear links between employee autonomy and better mental health. Letting people choose hours that work for them, to fit around childcare or other commitments, can help to reduce some of the stresses of modern life.

Given that technology often blurs the lines between home and leisure time, flexible work options like shifting hours or working from home part-time lets people use some of that same technology to have a better sense of control in their every-day lives. 

A recent study by Loughborough University in the UK questioned the assumption that long work hours automatically result in lower levels of happiness and wellbeing. Instead, it found the most important factor in reducing work-related stress levels and improving wellbeing is the ability to set your work hours and feel in control of your schedule.

The article also cites a recent survey, which asked more than 2,000 people whether they thought flexible working would improve their health and wellbeing.

Results showed that:

  • 91 per cent thought a flexible job would help them take better care of themselves
  • 90 per cent said it would decrease their stress levels
  • 99 per cent reported that a flexible job would improve their overall happiness.

Could flexible working work for your business? 

Offering flexible arrangements could be part of your overall mental health strategy. For more ideas, check out our top 10 tips for small and medium/large businesses to help you get started, or create a tailored action plan using our interactive tool.


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