Bespoke hospitality caterer, Bennett Hay, is urging businesses to embrace flexible working as part of ‘Flexible Working Week’, which it says is critical for building a strong, happy and loyal workforce.
The awareness campaign, which is taking place this week (4-10 April) is aimed to inspire passion, appreciation and encourage the UK workforce to become more flexible in their approach to work life balance.
According to ONS, 1.5 million UK workers work from home, this figure includes those who work at home, and those who use their home as a base, but work in different places. Ubiquitous WiFi, collaborative working technologies and smaller and lighter laptops mean that people are no longer chained to the office.
Bennett Hay, which has been named as one of the best places to work in hospitality by The Caterer, has provided some top tips on two of the most crucial things to remember when requesting, offering and adopting flexible working:
It’s not just about working hours
When considering flexible working solutions don’t just focus on working hours as that is limiting. Is there a slightly-different role that the employee would fit with better? Or could responsibilities be moved around within a team? What skills does the individual have and where could they be used? There isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution to a flexible working request – but it definitely isn’t just about a reduction in working hours.
It is mutually beneficial
Flexible working solutions are usually beneficial for employee and employer. People who request flexible working, for whatever reason, and have worked out a solution with their employer, typically show improved loyalty and motivation, and better engagement – as they are not under unnecessary pressure to balance personal and work commitments.
For smaller businesses, there is scope to have senior roles working part-time, delivering much-needed expertise but at an affordable cost. As a business grows, and these roles often increase, the flexibility and the loyalty are already there.
Anthony Bennett, co-owner of Bennett Hay, commented:
“We embrace flexible working as much as we possibly can within Bennett Hay. All organisations should be adopting flexible solutions and employers must play their part in this, in order to build trust and engagement, and consequently get the most productive and valuable workforce.”