One employee’s story of flexible working and the benefits it brought.
Flexible working. What exactly is it? Put quite simply it is a way of working that suits an employee’s needs such as working from home, working at hours that suit them, working compressed hours – in short any arrangement that is ‘flexible’.
Luckily for me I work for a company that provides the very tools to make working from home (WFH) so easy it’s like being in the office. When I do work from home, those I interact with on a typical day (this could be colleagues or external contractors) can’t tell that I’m not in the office and it in no way impacts on my productivity.
When do I choose to work from home?
I’m a working mum, so for me the option to WFH is ideal. For instance one of my kids could have a school assembly around lunch time which usually lasts 20 minutes. So why take an entire day off work just to attend a 20-minute production (which by the way is always so impressive I never have to pull out the ear plugs)? This way, although I’m a working parent, I can, most importantly, also be a supportive mum.
The days I WFH I ensure I maintain the same routine as if I was going to the office. I drop off my children at breakfast club at school, I get back home and start work.
So this is just one benefit of flexible working for me. Here are a few other benefits:
- Money saving
First of all, this is a way to save money for both parties. I don’t need to spend that much money for the transport to and from work, also I don’t need to spend more money for the lunch breaks.
- Time saving
It is possible to save not just money but also time. Working from home means I can spend my commute time actually working rather than on the tube stuck underneath someone’s armpit or having the person next to me coughing and sneezing (sometimes I feel this is a conspiracy against me – why do I always get the coughers and sneezers?).
- No need for additional resources
We are all so lucky to have a work laptop, loaded with great technology that means you can work exactly the same as way as if in the office. I connect to my wifi, and off I go…………
I can organise my time and tasks according to my personal needs. When I take a break, whilst eating I can also catch up on one of my favourite dramas which I have recorded on Sky TV. When I pick the kids up from school, I don’t panic about getting there on time (we all know how unpredictable the London Underground can be). Again my commute home is better spent working. I usually go to the gym in the evenings so the days I work from home I am more relaxed and able to attend my exercise class on time.
Sometimes I exceed my own expectations for the day. I can’t even predict how much I can do while working alone, without any distractions.
A few interesting facts about working from home
- According to the British National Institute of Statistics (Office for National Statistics), one in seven Brits work from home, that is over four million people. Half of these people are between 25 and 49 years old and most have children.
- Working from home is also popular among people who are 65 years old. Four out of ten workers over 65 years work from home.
- According to a study in the UK, working from home can save up to €3.7b for employers and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by around three million tons.
A final thought
Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I dislike being in the office, on the contrary I love it and can’t imagine working from home on a permanent basis. I love the fact that I can enjoy the best of both worlds; working from home a day here and a day there suits me just fine.
In some organisations, requesting to work from home is a formal process and it’s usually those who occupy senior positions that have the benefit of working from home. However in Arkadin, most employees get to enjoy the benefit, though obviously there are rules surrounding WFH requests.
- Flexible working has monetary benefits for employer and employee
- Thanks to flexible working I have more time in my day and greater work/life integration
- One in seven people in the UK work from home