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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.
Flexible working, where employees are able to work hours in a way that suits their lifestyle, can have a huge positive impact on businesses. 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.
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.