Flexible working gives employees flexibility on how long, where and when they work. It can include flexible start and finish time, the opportunity to work from home or elsewhere, job shares, part-time hours and compressed work weeks such as working four longer days and taking the fifth day off.
Flexible working is becoming much more popular and common across all generations but is particularly important for parents or carers who need to work around their responsibilities at home. Proliferation of high speed internet connection and mobile devices has made working from home much more realistic, and a flexible working arrangement can be a win-win situation for employers and employees as they can save money on office space and employees often become happier and more productive.
Organisations are being put under increasing pressure to put flexible working systems in place, with a “right to request” already being available to you after 26 weeks work at a given company, however there is no guarantee a request will be granted, and there are still a lot of organisations who claim they offer flexible working but in reality they’re not set up to really make it work. In which case, particularly when you start a family or are looking to return to work after doing so, you’re likely to want to explore the different options available to you that truly are flexible and allow you to work around family life.
We’ve put together a list below of the ways you can go about securing flexible work.
Negotiate with your existing employer
As mentioned previously, in the UK, employees have a right to request flexible working if they’ve worked continuously for the same employer for the last 26 weeks. You can find out more about how this process works from The Citizens Advice Bureau. Maternity and paternity leave is included in this 26 week period. However as there’s no statutory obligation for your employer to grant you flexible working you need to build a good case, show you’re good at planning ahead, get the support of your colleagues and be willing to be flexible about your arrangements sometimes.
Look at your employers needs as well as your own, perhaps there’s roles within the team that don’t necessarily require a full time position and so moving to part time would save the company money as well as benefiting your work life balance.
Become a freelancer
Freelance roles tend to offer a lot more flexibility and you can take on as much or as little as suits you, often doing so working from home or wherever you choose. Full-time freelance work is also often more lucrative than a full-time job as an employee.
Our friends at All Star Reserves match freelance consultants who work remotely with companies who need additional support, whether it be in a business development role, ambassador marketing or applying your existing skillset to the needs of the client. They offer training to reapply your existing skills to suitable roles.
Create and sell with ALL by MAMA
ALL by MAMA was built for talented mums and dads to sell their products whilst working remotely around their families. Our seller’s portal allows you to easily upload products, manage stock and hide your shop when you need time off – we’re all about the work/life balance. Your obligations to your family aren’t just understood, they are celebrated. Find out more about becoming a seller with us here.
Make money with microjobs
If you’re not quite ready to return to work or not sure how much time you can dedicate to it, there are lots of ways you can make money from one-time tasks that you do from home or a short distance away. Consider signing up to research panels like The Wise Society (financial services feedback panel), take part in consumer research with Watch me think or apply for one off copywriting or admin tasks with a freelance site like UpWork.
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