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As International Women’s Day comes around again, it’s time for us all to appreciate the efforts and achievements of the women in our lives and the women we look up to. It’s time for us to get inspired, give thanks but also look forward to the future of women’s rights and breaking down certain walls that are still, stubbornly standing. But I also want to talk about flexible working and how this impacts businesses and HOW it can impact women too.
Photo by Cayley Nossiter on Unsplash
Flexible working, where employees are able to work hours in a way that suits their lifestyle, can have a huge positive impact on businesses. It’s easier now than ever before, with more tools and technology, like Azure Virtual Desktop, to make it possible. And more and more businesses are catching on. Here are just some of the reasons why flexible working can be a game changer for companies:
Increased productivity: 3 in 5 people who work flexibly put in MORE hours that necessary as a result of it.
Reduced sickness days: With less germs going around for people who work from home, companies are having to deal with less sick days. And if people ARE sick, they may still be able to work if they’re at home.
Attract more diverse talent: Companies could be losing out on some SERIOUS talent by not offering flexible working to a potential employee who needs it.
Extended operating hours: Due to having more productive staff, doing a range of different hours and less commuting time, businesses are able to stay open for longer!
Better staff morale: And on average, those that can work flexibly are happier in their jobs, less likely to quit and more likely to stay productive.
So what has this got to do with International Women’s Day?
Well, obviously anyone can benefit from working flexibly. But as it’s International Women’s Day, I wanted to focus a portion of this post on how the skills and approach that women have to offer could be used in business – due to flexible working.
As a woman who owns her own business and works from home, I work VERY flexibly. Sometimes I start work early in the morning. Other days I only work until midday. Sometimes I don’t START work until midday. And I know I’m in a unique position as I’m self employed but for me, this method of working works really well.
Although I’d like to establish a little more of a routine, I like knowing that if I HAVE to work around something, I can. That if I’m having a bad mental health day, I can finish early if I need to. Or I can put in extra hours the day after. And I’m just one woman, with one experience.
As for women collectively, there are plenty of reasons why flexible working is a great option. Aside from the business benefits mentioned above, flexible working can allow women to flourish. Those who have just had children for example, who might not be ready to go back to work 100% or physically aren’t able.
Those who need to juggle childcare, who may have a partner who works long hours or who may be a single Mum. Those with mental health conditions such as post nasal depression or anxiety. Flexible working can allow that group of women to return to the workplace on their own terms.
Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash
Can I have an example of a company who has flourished from flexible working?
A great example of how flexible working has helped a small, self-funded company grow into a 8 figure enterprise is Font Bundles. Font Bundles was started by 3 friends (Alex France, Geoff Ballington and Andy Croft) on a shoestring budget with a range of skills and experience.
The company is still 100% owned by the co-founders, and self funded. The company now boasts 30 full time employees and over 4000 designers selling their products on the craft and design marketplace, Design Bundles and the font marketplace, Font Bundles.
Font Bundles Ltd is a diverse and modern company who champion diversity and flexible working. The company started and scaled without any central office by making use of the team working application Slack.
Although the company is registered in the UK, all 30 of the company’s employees work remotely and are based in over 10 different countries around the world, including its co-founders who meet up a few times a year to brainstorm and discuss growth plans.
In the last financial year, the company grossed over $10,000,000 USD in revenue, showing no signs of slowing down with the launch of several other brands and products.
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It’s so interesting how, with everything that’s been going on, so many companies are finally cottoning on to how useful flexible working can be. There are a ton of jobs, meetings, etc that just don’t need to be done in person so it’s really intriguing to see what working life will be like after lockdown! x
I like what you have to say. I will use these ideas when I look for a new job
Great ideas; thanks Jenny!
My boss regularly works from home himself but refuses to let us have the option 🤦♀️ Although with everything going on right now he’s had to cave and let us all do it! We’re quite a small team and in an office with your boss 8 hours a day gets very stressful at times so I personally think offering something as little as one work from home day a week would make a huge difference, especially with morale in the office. My husband’s company on the other hand, offers it to everyone and it certainly makes things a lot easier for everyone! Definitely think more companies should offer flexible working!
I do not have flexible work arrangements, but my company allows me to work from home a few days a week. They are also relaxed with doctor appointments, picking up kids etc. I believe this is a great benefit as you get hours and hours back and safe money as well. I get more sleep on those days as I wake up 1.5 hrs later, I do not have to spend money on petrol and I get time back as I am not stuck in traffic for 3 hrs on those days. I think having a bot of flexibility is great, but I also want to be in the office a few days to see my colleagues and get that human interaction.
Some great points here. I’d love to be able to work more flexibly but my full time role is set days and hours. It does give me a consistent routine I find though.
I’d like the routine too!
You make some great points here, Jenny. Flexibility is particularly important in these very challenging times. I wrote a piece just this week for small business employers helping them to implement working from home arrangements: https://www.inletmanagement.co.uk/latest-news
It really is
There are so many positives to flexible working aren’t there! I hope more and more companies start to realise the benefits of it as it’s something I’d be looking for if I went back to a job in a typical working environment and I think that’s what a lot of people want now too xx
Tiffany x http://www.foodandotherloves.co.uk
There really is!
My company has set rules so certain positions can work from home on a set day a week but it really varies across the teams. I’d love to simply because I travel for nearly 3 hours a day – just having that extra time once a week will help me really balance life and work but being able to tick a few personal things off – we shall see what the future brings. Great post!
3 hours a day?! Jeeez! I hope you manage to start working flexibly in the future xx
Yeah it’s about an hour and twenty door to door 🙈
This! I’ve known so many women who have been able to adapt to flexible working hours after having kids and it’s literally been the difference between whether they can work on not (due to not being able to afford childcare under different circumstances). I saw so many tweets yesterday praising women for establishing/ dominating the blogging/ influencer industry and creating this lifestyle and it gave me such a huge sense of pride for everyone I know who’s killing it and making it possible x
Oh same! It makes me really proud to be a part of this industry x
At my last two jobs, I was able to work from home and it was SO nice. I didn’t have to miss too much when I had appts for myself or kids, and it’s true, you end up working MORE at home than at the office!
tonyalee @ http://vivaciousbibliophile.com
You really do! I sometimes never want to stop working!
working from home is my fave thing ever x
Same girl haha x
YES, I totally agree with this! Having flexible working has allowed me to improve my mental health, reduce impact from migraines, and care for my partner. I’ll be job hunting again soon so really hoping the next place is as lenient!
Fingers crossed for you!
I’ve only ever worked freelance so I don’t have any experience with this – interesting post though x
You’ve had ALL the experience with this x
Sadly my line of work doesn’t allow for flexible working, but I do see how it would increase productivity!
That’s a shame!
This should definitely be put in place, if I wasn’t freelance – I’m not sure what I’d do without flexible working xx
It is great that there are more options for flexible working. My work allows me to work remotely if I have to. There are so many pros with working remote once in a while – especially when you have your personal life to take care of too. Thanks for sharing this piece!
Nancy ♥ exquisitely.me
That’s amazing that your work allows that!
My company recently changed my hours so that I could pick them to be a little different and my God my productivity has shot up!
That’s amazing to hear!
I’ve been learning about flexible working in a work programme I’ve been doing and it would be amazing to do! One day it’ll happen!
It will happen!
I have nominated you for the mystery blogger award. I hope you will accept the nomination.
Thank you. I don’t do those awards anymore but I appreciate the nomination 😌
Some amazing points here my lovely!
Love, Amie ❤
The Curvaceous Vegan
I would love this! But no chance of flexible working for me I don’t think!
Ah that’s a shame!
Some great points here! xx
Thank you x