Flexible Working Book Summary - Flexible Working Book explained in key points
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Flexible Working summary

Gemma Dale

How to Implement Flexibility in the Workplace to Improve Employee and Business Performance

4.3 (80 ratings)
24 mins
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    Flexible Working
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    Adopting flexible work practices helps businesses and employees.

    Picture a busy day in the city. A young father drops his two kids at daycare and heads to the office. After four hours, he picks them up and ends the day working from home. Across town, a young student finishes a ten-hour shift. She’ll only work four days this week. Meanwhile, her neighbor, a senior executive, hasn't been to any meetings for weeks, because she’s busy pursuing some hobbies.

    Each of these individuals is approaching work in a different way, but they have one thing in common: each is an example of successful flexible working in action. And they’re all doing work that lets them balance their professional and personal lives without sacrificing productivity.

    The key message here is: Adopting flexible work practices helps businesses and employees. 

    Flexible work is any type of working arrangement that is not the on-site, nine-to-five, five-days-a-week norm. By ditching the standard nine-to-five model, employees and employers get to adjust when and how work gets done. It could mean putting in longer hours for fewer days, teleworking full- or part-time, or just working select hours in the “gig economy.”

    Some of these practices are as old as work itself, while others are made possible by new technology. In either case, the idea of flexible work is becoming more popular. Some studies report up to 87 percent of employees saying they’d prefer to have flexible work arrangements. And research in the United States has found that 35 percent would even change jobs to get it.

    So, why is flexibility so attractive? Well, for workers, it cuts down on the stress of sticking to a one-size-fits-all schedule. Everyone has different needs and responsibilities, so being allowed to tailor the workday can be very helpful. In fact, research from YouGov shows that only 16 percent of workers would stick with the nine-to-five if given the choice.

    Flexibility works for employers, too. Study after study shows that it’s easier to attract and keep the best people when you offer flexible work arrangements. Employees with more control over their hours also tend to be more productive, engaged, and creative. 

    So far, so promising. But what comes next? In the next blink, we’ll dig a little deeper into what this means for the future.

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    What is Flexible Working about?

    Flexible Working (2021) is a practical guide to organizing work outside the standard nine-to-five. This helpful handbook explores the diverse array of working arrangements possible in the contemporary world.

    Who should read Flexible Working?

    • Businesses looking for more agile work arrangements
    • Workers wanting to see life outside the nine-to-five
    • Anyone curious about the future of work

    About the Author

    Gemma Dale is a human-resources expert, founder of the Work Consultancy, and a lecturer in employment law, organizational behavior and well-being at Liverpool John Moores University Business School. She writes the award-winning blog People Stuff.


    © Gemma Dale, 2021. This Summary of Adaptability is published by arrangement with Kogan Page.

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