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Is less work smarter?

Shorter working hours or weeks are becoming commonplace. How is this working, or not, for the businesses looking to change the way people work? How can this be managed sensibly, and its outcome be measured effectively?

Is less work smarter?
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  • Contributed by Chris Lawton
  • November 13, 2019
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The modern workplace is constantly evolving. From ongoing digitalisation efforts to a growing skills gap and shrinking productivity levels, businesses are finding that they must attract and retain candidates with highly sought-after skill sets to remain competitive in the global market. In order to do this, many have adopted flexible working strategies, aimed at attracting top talent.

From working non standard hours to work-from-home schemes, businesses are beginning to change how they view workplace productivity.

There is no one-size-fits-all model when it comes to flexible working.

Schemes such as job sharing, where two people are retained on a part-time basis to perform a job normally fulfilled by one person, remote working, avoiding rush hour when commuting and working to a condensed schedule can be just as effective in improving workplace productivity while encouraging a better work-life balance. 

However, it is important to track the ways in which various workplace schemes are improving productivity, and one of the main ways to do this is to measure the impact it has on employee wellbeing.

Are your employees delivering higher quality work when taking advantage of your flexible working schemes? Do they report higher levels of job satisfaction? These are some of the questions that can help you decide whether your schemes are yielding the desired results. 

For employers, introducing flexible working initiatives can provide a host of benefits. It can widen the hiring pool to candidates that may live outside of a realistic commuting distance and in some cases, prove to be the deciding factor in getting their preferred candidate over the line.  

We are seeing more professionals today prioritise their work-life balance and seek out businesses that off er flexibility to achieve this, with three in 10 office workers (29%) considering moving jobs in the next year, driven by the demand for a better work-life balance, higher remuneration and flexible working hours. 

For businesses and employees, flexible working holds the key to the future of smart working.  

Chris Lawton is a director at Robert Half UK

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